ALJON Mariano received support from former University of Santo Tomas teammates, fellow players, and even fans alike after getting a barrage of criticism through social media following the Tigers’ heartbreaking loss to De La Salle in the deciding game of the UAAP men’s basketball Finals.
Mariano was heavily criticized for his poor play in Saturday’s Game Three, none worse than an errant pass to Kevin Ferrer in the dying seconds of overtime period that led to Almond Vosotros hitting the game-winning basket of the Archers’ 71-69 win.
One of those who expressed support for Mariano is veteran Air21 center Asi Taulava as he offered words of consolation through his Twitter account @AsiTaulava88.
“ENUFF bashing on da lil bro Aljon Mariano! Shit happens n dats how we grow n learn as a b-ball. He is only a kid, playing da game we all luv,” wrote Taulava, the former PBA Most Valuable Player.
Former UST stalwart and current San Mig Coffee guard Allein Maliksi said Mariano is only human in the aftermath of the blunders he committed in the championship game.
“To all @aljonmariano bashers. GODBLESS YOU ALL!!!! I know he made big mistake but we are just human. We can’t change it anymore,” wrote Maliksi in his account @alleinmaliksi.
Also expressing support are College of Saint Benilde player Anton Altamirano, Ateneo’s Nico Salva, and Adamson’s Ryan Monteclaro, who are former members of the San Beda Red Cubs just like Mariano.
“Guys stop saying things about @aljonmariano if you guys don’t know him personally! He plays to win every single game! Have some respect!,” Altamirano wrote.
The son of NU head coach Eric Altamirano also wrote on his account @blazerboy11: “We are behind you bro! This is what being a brotherhood stands for! @aljonmariano #BEDAN”
Salva wrote on his Twitter account @nickobelosalva: “@aljonmariano keep on getting better. Got a long way to go! Don’t listen to haters, use them as fuel! Good luck n bounce back!”
“Heads up brother!! Don’t mind them. @aljonmariano #hatersgonnahate,” wrote Monteclaro.
Several fans also showed their support to Mariano via social media.
Mariano scored just 15 points in the three-game title series - just slightly above his 12.8-point average per game in the regular season. He was also held to just three in Game Three where he finished 0-of-8 from the field.