PRIOR to the Ateneo game, third-year FEU forward Rey Bienes had only played for one game in the UAAP Season 81.
But given the chance against the defending champion with leading scorer Arvin Tolentino suspended, Bienes proved to be up to the task.
“Si Rey, naglaro siya ng isang game, UE. Pero, itong big game na ganito, he's ready. It's just unfortunate that he's playing behind two seniors, si Arvin (Tolentino) saka si Richard (Escoto). Pero ready siya,” said Racela.
The reserve forward scored eight points in 11 minutes of action, including two threes in the second half which definitely shifted the momentum towards the Tamaraws’ favor.
Bienes’ first three-pointer tied the game for the Tamaraws at 36 late in the third quarter, before he sent another booming one to give his team their biggest lead of the game, 50-42.
This certainly doesn’t look like a player who only played in a blowout loss to the UE Red Warriors. It only goes to show that it pays to be ready.
“Siguro 'yung akin lang, hindi naman namin gusto na ma-suspend si Arvin, pero ang ano ko lang... sabi nga ni coach, ready lang talaga kasi malay mo, bunitin ka,” said Beienes.
“Ready lang talaga. Iniisip ko kagabi, hindi maglalaro si Arvin. Siguro, paglalaruin ako ni coach. Ayun, naging ready lang ako ngayong game. Nag-ready talaga ako.”