KEVIN Ferrer was passive and eerily silent in winner-take-all Game Three, but University of Santo Tomas coach Bong Dela Cruz wasn't about to heap any blame on his top star.
Ferrer was only a shadow of the player who led the Tigers to a Game Two win with a heroic 29-point performance, proving to be a non-factor as Far Eastern University won, 67-62, to win its first UAAP title in a decade.
The senior forward finished with only six points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 39 minutes. He also took just seven shots in Game Three, two of them desperation three-point attempts in the final seconds when the game was already settled.
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UST coach Bong Dela Cruz, however, was quick to exonerate the Tigers star, saying FEU's defense made sure Ferrer wouldn't catch fire like he did in Game Two.
“Naka-stay home sila kay Kevin Ferrer. Naka-deny sila kay Kevin,” said Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz also focused on the positives, saying his star forward contributed in several other ways to the Tigers cause - both tangibles and intangibles - in his final game in a UST uniform.
“Nakadikit talaga sila kay Kevin pero hindi lang naman siya sa points. He also got the rebounds, he defended, and nandoon siya to lead the team,” said Dela Cruz.
"Hindi naman namin in-expect na mauulit ‘yung ginawa niya sa next game. But as a leader, he led the team."