JAYCEE Asuncion emerged the villain against his former team on Friday, burying the key baskets that enabled Jose Rizal University to hold off University of Perpetual Help in overtime, 80-76, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The 23-year-old guard knocked down seven of his 16 points in the extra session, including a contested stab that gave the Bombers a 77-74 lead, which proved sufficient to hold on till the end.
A transferee from Perpetual Help, where he was buried at the bench for four years playing behind former and current star wingmen Jett Vidal and Earl Thompson, Asuncion has been seeing extensive minutes for the Bombers.
“May gusto lang ako patunayan,” said the soft-spoken cager, who’s in his fifth and last year in the league.
But Asuncion insisted it was nothing personal.
“Hindi lang naman sa Perpetual, kundi sa lahat ng makakalaban namin,” said the native of Valenzuela City, who also registered three rebounds and one assist in 32 minutes.
“Sabi lang ni coach na trabaho lang,” he said, referring to mentor Vergel Meneses. “Yung opensa darating yun, huwag dapat hanapin. Dumepensa muna.”
True enough, Asuncion found the mark when it mattered most as he took the cudgels for the Bombers after Philip Paniamogan and Michael Mabulac carried the fight early on.
“Every time na ipasok kami sa loob, ibigay lang namin one hundred ten percent namin,” Asuncion said. “Tsaka importante sa amin yung tiwala sa isa’t-isa.”