ANTIPOLO -- Aljun Melecio was just in pure disbelief following La Salle's 71-68 setback at the hands of University of the Philippines to bow out of the UAAP Season 82 Final Four race.
"Speechless. Wala akong masabi talaga," he said as the Taft side missed the semifinals in back-to-back years since the introduction of the Final Four.
It was a tough experience for the diminutive guard, who had more than a few chances to steal the game for the Green Archers.
With UP holding a 70-68 lead in the final minute, Melecio botched a three from the top of the arc.
Paras failed to deliver the dagger three on the other end, which led to 5-foot-8 sniper tracking the rebound that kept the window open for La Salle.
But Melecio slipped at the halfcourt when he was going for the fastbreak.
"Tinry ko naman talaga na hindi madapa pero nadapa talaga ako," he said.
Encho Serrano did recover the ball, but he flubbed on his fastbreak that all but spelled doom for the Green Archers.
Painful was the experience for Melecio, who tried his earnest to lead the team with 12 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.
Yet for him, he sees this as a chance for the Taft side to reassess and plot their way back to contention.
"Parehas na masakit kasi di kami umabot sa Final Four. Pero nandoon pa rin yung sinabi sa akin dati ni coach Aldin (Ayo) na kung may masamang nangyari sa iyo, i-cherish mo lang yun, hawakan mo yun, tapos doon ka kumuha ng lakas ng loob kasi yung mga struggles mo, magiging inspirasyon yun sa iyo at magagamit mo yun sa buhay mo," he said.