IF there’s one pleasant surprise for Far Eastern University early in the UAAP Season 80, it’s the offense outburst of defense specialist Ron Dennison.
Expected to be one of the leaders of the Tamaraws defense, Dennison has exceeded expectations after showing an improved offensive game to start the season.
In fact, the 6-foot guard out of Cebu is the surprise leader of FEU on offense, averaging 18.5 points per game through two outings to go along 5.5 boards and 3.5 assists a game.
In their win 90-83 win over the University of the East on Wednesday, Dennison was once again the focal point on offense, particularly at the clutch as he finished with 16 points, including six straight inside the final four minutes of the game to put away the Red Warriors.
“Sa akin lang, ano lang. Sabi ng mga coaches be consistent sa laro ko, pero hindi yung hinahanap ko 'yung score ko. Yung i-lead ko yung team namin, defense to offense,” said Dennison after the game.
“Kung ano ma-contribute ko sa team, yun ang ginagawa ko. Kasi 'yung score ko, hindi ko naman hinahanap 'yun eh, kusang dumadating. Yun ang palaging sinasabi sa akin ni coach, na 'wag mong hanapin ang score mo, kasi kusang darating yan, focus ka sa defense kasi 'yun ang strength ko daw,” he added.
FEU coach Olsen Racela was naturally delighted with the improvement of Dennison on offense, especially since he’s handling a team without a definite go-to guy this season.
But while he’s happy with Dennison’s scoring spurts, Racela knows his ward’s true value is still on the defensive end.
“I think for his development as a player, malaking bagay 'yun. Pero si Ron, kilala naman natin siya more on the defensive end and I think for his growth and development as a player, okay din na he's developing his offense,” said Racela.
“But yun ang trademark ni Ron, ang depensa. I think yun ang makakapagdala sa kanya to the next level,” he added.
Dennison, however, assures Racela and the FEU faithful that he won’t be forgetting his main role and that his focus will always be on locking up the opposing squad’s best perimeter player.
“Always yan. Nandyan ang defense ko, di pwede yan mawala kasi ako nagbibigay ng energy sa loob ng court namin eh,” Dennison said.
But if needed on offense, Dennison said he won’t back down from the challenge.
“Ready ako eh. Yun ang mindset ko, every game. Lalo na last sem ko na ngayon, bigay ko na lahat.”