EVEN the best shooters have their off-nights.
For Aljun Melecio, it was on Sunday.
The usually dead-shot La Salle sniper uncharacteristically struggled from the free-throw line, of all places, in his side's 71-62 defeat to Ateneo.
Melecio, who ranks seventh in the league in free throw shooting with his 74-percent clip prior to this game, clanged his charities and only shot 3-for-9 for the game.
"Di ko alam. Hindi ko makontrol yung bola sa free throw. Di ko matantsa yung free throw kanina," he admitted as he finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Melecio was so befuddled with his woes from the 15-foot line that he would've wanted to shoot from beyond the arc more than take those freebies.
"Mas titira na lang ako ng three points, wag lang yung free throw," said the smiling Melecio, who is shooting 35-percent from distance this UAAP Season 81.
But rather than mope on this defeat, which sent the Green Archers to an 8-5 card, the 19-year-old former Rookie of the Year is focusing on what lies ahead -- a crucial clash against UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday.
"Lesson learned. Kung magmumukmok lang ako, walang mangyayari. I just have to work on my free throws," he said.
The importance of that final assignment also isn't lost on Melecio, with a La Salle victory over UP securing the Taft side the third-seed for the semifinals.
"Kailangan naming manalo every game kasi kailangan namin lahat yun para sa Final Four," he said.