MONBERT Arong was in the right place at the right time.
Receiving an inbounds pass from Joe Trinidad, the Cebuano guard faked off Alfred Aroga, took a step closer then calmly fired a jumper in Far Eastern University’s hotly-contested game against National University.
The ball found the bottom of the net with 3.7 seconds to spare, lifting the Tamaraws to 57-56 win over the National University Bulldogs on Sunday.
“Sabi kasi ni Coach Nash (Racela), i-shoot mo. Eh di shinoot ko naman,” he said.
That shot was just the fitting exclamation point to an amazing week for Arong, who was named the ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week - the first non-La Salle player to claim the award this season.
He bested La Salle’s Ricci Rivero and University of the Philippines’ Jett Manuel for the weekly honor given by scribes covering the country’s premier collegiate league from top broadsheets, national dailies, and online portals.
Arong provided the lift for FEU this week as it completed an elimination round sweep of NU, first pouring in 20 points to go with three assists, and a rebound in the tight 78-75 victory on Wednesday, before following it up with 13 markers, seven coming in the fourth period, to go with two boards and two assists in the rematch.
Little did everyone know that he did all of that despite nursing a sprained ankle.
“Buti na lang nagkaroon pa siya ng lakas for the last play," Racela said later. “Today, he was the go-to guy. We hope that every game naman, kung sino man ang puntahan namin, maka-deliver whoever that is. We’re just happy that Monbert was able to deliver for us today.”