FOR Karim Abdul, one mistake was enough.
After blaming himself for a loss to University of the East in the eliminations, the star slotman of University of Santo Tomas made sure it didn’t happen again, especially in the Finals of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Abdul proved true to his word on Wednesday, blocking LA Revilla’s last-gasp layup to secure the Growling Tigers’ 73-72 victory over La Salle that moved the school a win away from its first championship in seven years.
Recalling a 67-68 defeat at the hands of UE in the second round of the elims, Abdul said he let Roi Sumang score on what he felt was a "blockable" layup that completed the Red Warriors fightback.
“I’ll always remember that last drive against Sumang. Whenever I remember that scenario, I just go for the block,” said the Cameroonian center, who was the last player to emerge from the Tigers’ dugout.
“I don’t hesitate anymore because I don’t want to lose like that again.”
Abdul’s rejection capped off a solid showing that saw him score 19 points, grab 12 boards, and block shots with just five minutes of rest while battling the Archers' formidable frontline.
The brilliant performance atoned for Abdul's dismal showing in the do-or-die game against National University when he wound up with just six points, six rebounds, and one block in 19 foul-plagued minutes.
“I didn’t feel good about my game against NU even before the game, so I asked the guys to step up. And I promised that if we beat NU, I’ll do my best in the Finals,” he said.