Perasol gamble pays off as surprise UP starter Jaboneta delivers perfect response
Bo Perasol changed up his starting unit and inserted Janjan Jaboneta, who led UP out of its three-game slump with 12 points. Dante Peralta

JANJAN Jaboneta was quick to repay the trust of coach Bo Perasol after being named a surprise starter in the University of the Philippines' 71-69 win over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday. 

Looking for any kind of spark to change their fortunes after the Maroons their previous three games, Perasol took a chance on his seldom-used wingman and the gamble paid off for UP. 

The third year pride of Cebu topscored for the Fighting Maroons with 12 points, hitting all four of his three-pointers while injecting the much-needed energy to his squad.

Jaboneta has just been waiting for this grand opportunity, and when he was given the chance, he made sure not to disappoint.

"Sobrang thankful ko lang kay coach na binigyan ako ng chance. This is my first time na nag-start sa UAAP career ko, so hindi ko binigo si coach, binigay ko yung best ko," said Jaboneta, who also credited fellow Cebuanos and dorm roommates Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo for the added confidence.

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa dalawang roomate ko sa dorm, sila parati ang nagpu-push sa akin na ibigay yung best ko at ipakita kung ano ang meron ako," he added. 

Perasol hopes that this is the start of something big for his young forward, who gave UP another solid contributor on offense after the Maroons struggled to find production from the rest of the roster in the past three losses.

"I hope so (magtuloy-tuloy) kasi ang importante naman sa amin is 'yung depth ng bench na wala pa kami. Even if they would want to, walang experience," said Perasol.

"Kita mo si JanJan, he stepped up, but yung experience namin sa mga endgames, yung talagang totodo, kapos pa. Maganda in this game, at least naka-experience na sila na kaya pala nila."

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