AC Soberano stepped up for San Beda in its all-important NCAA Season 91 game against Letran on Tuesday.
And to think this was the same guy who almost ended up playing for the Knights.
Soberano torched the Knights for 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc as the Red Lions posted a rousing 77-73 win that clinched for the reigning five-time champion a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four.
All three of Soberano’s three-pointers came in the first half when San Beda raced to a 43-25 lead before surviving a late Letran charge in the homestretch.
Soberano later admitted he once considered going to Letran by the time he finished secondary school at the Tarlac National High School.
The 21-year-old shooting guard said it was actually former Letran Knight Allan Salangsang who convinced him to tryout in Manila particularly at the Muralla-based school.
“Ayoko po talaga mag-Manila noon. Nag-tryout po ako sa Letran. Pero nag-tryout din po ako sa ibang school,” he recalled.
In the end though, Soberano made a good impression on the Red Lions coaches in a separate tryout, giving him the chance to suit up for San Beda.
Soberano first made it to the school’s Team B as a walk-in, before breaking in the team’s regular lineup in time for Season 91 of the league.
More than being an outside shooter, Soberano said he wants to be a good defensive player, a must for San Beda players.
“Mindset ko lang po, pag gising sa umaga, defense muna. Pero may tiwala sila sa akin. Hindi ko naman sila pinapahiya kapag binibigay nila sa akin ‘yung bola. Sabi ni coach, i-shoot lang,” said Soberano.
The 5-foot-11 guard has been taking advantage of head coach Jamike Jarin’s tactic of going deep into San Beda’s bench.
“Malaki talaga ‘yung opportunity na binibigay ni coach sa amin. Kumpara sa ibang coach na eight lang ginagamit, kami binibigyan kami ng time na ma-expose kami. Nakakakuha kami ng kumpiyansa,” said Soberano.