HE was named after the celebrated American rock star. On Monday, John Von Jovi Tambeling turned the San Juan Arena into his concert venue and awed the crowd anew with his timely plays.
The 20-year-old rookie provided the early spark Letran needed to break away from Arellano en route to a 70-59 victory in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Coming off a suspension following an ejection that marred his solid performance in the Knights’ 77-70 win over Mapua, Tambeling got the rare start at the shooting guard spot against the Chiefs.
And the pride of Balingoan, Misamis Oriental repaid his coach’s faith and picked up from where he left off by scoring 15 points in just 13 minutes, with 10 of his output coming in the first quarter where the Knights started to build a double-digit cushion.
“Kagandahan sa kanya, he steps up when given the chance,” Knights coach Caloy Garcia said of Tambelling, who had 13 points in seven minutes against the Cardinals two weeks ago. “Sana lang maging consistent siya.”
Against the Chiefs, Tambeling relied on his outside shooting for instant offense.
“Talent kung sa talent, meron talaga,” Garcia said. “May shooting siya, pero merong aspects na meron siya na hindi pa niya na-e-explore.”
Maybe, it’s because he has always been overshadowed by more celebrated rookie teammate Rey Nambatac.
But on Monday, Tambeling shone brighter anew.
“Confidence lang sa sarili ko. Iniisip ko lang na kung kaya ng seniors namin, bakit kami hindi?” Tambeling said.