AFTER missing all his three-point shots in the final two games of the elimination round, Kevin Ferrer has regained his touch and has gone .500 in time for the most important games of the playoffs.
Ferrer went 0-for-8 from three-point range during UST’s loss to De La Salle last September 14 and in its huge win over Ateneo last September 18 that allowed the Tigers to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Final Four.
UST coach Pido Jarencio, however, never lost faith in his misfiring young forward, even encouraging him to shoot by pointing out that De La Salle's defense was sagging off and daring him to take the outside shot.
“Kinausap ko siya na mag-focus lang sa ginagawa niya,” said Jarencio. “Maging consistent at natural lang ’yung ginagawa niya.”
The gangling Ferrer got his stroke back at the most important time, going 12-of-24 in UST’s two victories over top-seed National University in the Final Four and in Game One of the UAAP finals against De La Salle.
No shot of course was bigger than the three-pointer he hit with less than a minute to play in Game One of the Finals that gave the Tigers a four-point cushion on the way to a thrilling 73-72 victory.
Ferrer finished with a team-high 20 points, going 5-of-8 from three-point range in Game One, moving UST to a win shy of its first title since 2006.
Ferrer was just glad that his hard work is paying off in the playoffs.
“Wino-work out namin ’yun,” said Ferrer. “Nag-extra work ako, extra shooting. Buti naman lumabas na.”
Jarencio also said team captain Jeric Teng was instrumental in Ferrer’s return to top form.
“Sila ni Cap (Teng), nag-uusap sila. Nag-uusap sila ng team. Kinakausap ko rin naman ’yung team pero kailangan din ng may tagapagsalita sa mga players."
Following the Game One victory, Ferrer admitted that he can already feel the title going back to UST but made it clear that work is still to be done.
“Kailangan pa rin naming pag-trabahuhan ’yung panalo,” Ferrer said.