THREE wins against a team that went 14-0 will be a tough task, but Aljun Melecio is confident it can be done.
The De La Salle-Zobel point guard isn’t resting on his laurels after earning the MVP title last week, saying what he really wants is to give the Junior Archers a title before joining the Green Archers in the seniors team.
They face the National University Bullpups, who completed a sweep of the eliminations and now hold a thrice-to-beat advantage at the end of the stepladder playoffs.
The 17-year-old Melecio is the first player out of La Salle-Zobel to win the league's top individual award. But his focus is on winning the title that will seal his place as perhaps the best high school player from his school.
“’Yung MVP award, hindi ko naman iniisip ’yun. Gusto ko mag-champion para masaya ’yung team,”said Melecio.
Game One of the La Salle-NU showdown is at 2 p.m. on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
La Salle-Zobel has not won a UAAP crown since 2007, when Joshua Webb won the finals MVP in leading the Junior Archers past the Ateneo Blue Eaglets.
“Sobrang sarap siguro nun kasi matagal na rin hindi nagcha-champion ‘yung Zobel. Hopefully, makuha namin. Kakayanin namin basta mag-step up ‘yung mga teammates ko. Kailangan naming magtrabaho,” said Melecio.
The Junior Archers have also not seen a kind of player quite like Melecio, whose scoring prowess has led La Salle to its first finals appearance since 2009. He also scored 42 and 41 points in two separate games this season en route to the MVP crown this season.
“This year, he is cementing his legacy in Zobel,” said long-time La Salle coach Boris Aldeguer. “He is going out with a bang. He is going to graduate with a bang. He will try to finish strong.”