IT took quite awhile for Andrei Caracut to find his rhythm in his fourth year for La Salle, but with his performance entering the second round of the UAAP Season 81 – it looks like he’s slowly rediscovering his footing.
Caracut finished with a season-high 16 points and had six boards as the Green Archers kept their place in the top four of the tournament.
Prior to this game, the former San Beda Red Cub was averaging eight points a game – though he was quick to insist that he never lost confidence.
“Kahit nung first game pa lang until now yung kumpyansa ko buong buo talaga. Hindi ko lang alam kung paano ko gagamitin yung kumpyansa na yun offensively, pero defensively marami naman akong natutulong,” said Caracut.
“Yung mindset nalang siguro na kailangan hanapin ko muna yung sarili ko bago ko hanapin yung mga kakampi ko. Ganun. Pero within the system. Siguro nagawa ko naman yun ngayon, nagprovide ako ng score at natulungan ko yung mga teammates ko,” he added.
La Salle coach Louie Gonzalez personally reminded Caracut that there has to be changes if the Green Archers want to go far this season.
He was certainly happy with the way Caracut responded.
“Actually, sinabihan ko nga siya yesterday. ‘Andrei, you need to change whatever you're doing right now, 'cause it's different now’ Siguro nasanay siya for the last two years na ganon ang routine niya, parang nagiging pareho lang, nagiging pareho lang,” Gonzalez said.
“I spoke to him since before the Adamson game, that I need him, I need him, I need him to get his confidence back, kasi talagang malaki ang role niya sa team na 'to. Hindi lang bilang co-captain sila ni Kib, pero Andrei himself, alam naman natin kung ano ang kaya niyang ibigay eh,” he added.
Instead of being pressured with the weight of the expectations on his shoulders, Caracut said that it actually pushes him further to be a whole lot better moving forward.
“Since January naging co-captain ako, naging challenge sa akin to na kailangan maglead na ako ng team, maging good example sa team. Para sa akin, naging mabuti rin yun, kailangan talaga pumukpok e, magtrabaho. Nakabuti rin. Challenge din sa akin.”