HE doesn’t mind coming off the bench, but it’s obvious Paolo Taha is more effective as a starter.
In his first start in four games, the College of St. Benilde star rediscovered his old, fine form to steer the Blazers to a breakthrough victory in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with an 85-71 decision over Letran on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
Averaging just 8.3 points, 4.3 boards, and two assists in 21.3 minutes off the bench, Taha registered 24 points, eight boards, and three assists as his team booked a first win in four games.
“Yung role ko talaga off the bench, yung problema lang ang tagal ko ma-feel yung game, kaya si coach nag-adjust,” the fourth-year forward said in a chat with Spin.ph after the game.
“I felt in the first three games, he wasn’t contributing that much, so I decided why don’t we start him? And true enough, he was different today,” Blazers coach Gabby Velasco said of Taha, who forms one-third of the Blazers' dynamic trio that also include Mark Romero and Jonathan Grey.
It seems Velasco’s decision paid off.
But Taha, who scored 12 points in the third quarter, where the Blazers built their biggest lead, is just ready to adjust whether he continues to start or goes back as the team’s sixth man.
“Kung ano yung ibigay niyang role, embrace ko na lang. Ako na lang mag-adjust,” Taha said.