EMILIO Aguinaldo College point guard John Tayongtong believes the Generals remain very much in contention for a breakthrough Final Four berth despite their current standing in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The Generals are running eighth in the 10-team standings, tied with Letran with a 2-5 win-loss card, with two games remaining in the first round of eliminations.
“Contender pa rin kami,” Tayongtong said after the Generals’ 89-78 victory over Mapua that snapped a five-game tailspin on Monday.
It’s semifinals or bust this season for the Generals, who are in their final probationary year, looking to become a regular member in the country’s oldest collegiate league next season.
But had the Generals lost once again, they would have dropped to the bottom of the pile. Instead, the San Marcelino-based dribblers gained separation from the Cardinals, who stayed in the cellar after suffering a seventh loss in eight games.
“Nasa kamay pa rin namin yung chances namin,” Tayongtong said. “Wala pa kami sa point na nagdadasal kami kung ano ilalaro ng ibang team.”
The senior playmaker typified the Generals’ desire to put an end to their losing streak, tallying a career-high 23 points, including eight in the first quarter where EAC built a double-digit cushion and never looked back.
“Na-motivate ako sa mga talo namin kaya tinaasan namin yung aggressiveness namin” said Tayongtong, who also churned out five assists, five boards, and three steals in 34 minutes.
“Mas tumapang kami kasi sabik kami manalo.”