VIDEOS of Mark Cruz from last year’s campaign with Letran on the eve of his first college game helped Aljun Melecio gain confidence for the match against Far Eastern University on Wednesday.
The former De La Salle Zobel standout finished with 10 points in the Green Archers’ 83-78 win over Far Eastern University on Wednesday to start off the UAAP Season 79 campaign.
Melecio played major minutes for the Green Archers, scoring eight points in the first half. He was even inserted back after Julian Sargent fouled out when the result of the match still hanged in the balance.
The Season 78 juniors MVP said on the night of the opening game, he watched videos of Cruz on the advice of La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, who was Cruz's coach in Letran's run to the NCAA championship last year.
“Last night, tinawag niya (Ayo) ako tapos nanood kami ng video ni Mark Cruz sa Letran. Sabi niya, tignan ko si Mark kung paano gumalaw.
“Si coach talaga ‘yung nagbigay sa akin ng kumpiyansa,” said Melecio.
Ayo has been harping about Melecio’s similarity to Cruz since last year. On Wednesday, the similarity became obvious.
Melecio said Ayo particularly pointed out to how Cruz uses the ball screens to make plays.
“Tignan ko raw kung paano niya gamitin ‘yung ball screens on top,” said Melecio. “Actually, linalaro ko lang ‘yung game ko.”