Ed Daquioag finds reason to smile after atoning for Game One letdown
Ed Daquioag was a 'smiling assassin' in Game Two. Jerome Ascano

FOR Ed Daquioag and the University of Santo Tomas, one reason why he struggled in Game One of the UAAP Season 78 Finals was he wasn't smiling enough - and consequently played too tight.

That wasn't the case on Saturday when Daquioag atoned for his Game One struggle, scoring 10 points on top of six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the Tigers' 62-56 win over Far Eastern University at the Araneta Coliseum.

On the advice of the coaching staff, the UST veteran guard made just one adjustment from Game One where he only had four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field in a 65-75 loss to the Tamaraws.

“Kasi sabi ni coach (Bong Dela Cruz) nung training kahapon at kanina bago mag-start ‘yung laro, nawawala na raw ‘yung smile ko,” said Daquioag.

“Ginawa ko lang ‘yung ginagawa ko dati na nag-iismile sa game. Mas maganda ang resulta,” said Daquioag.

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He soon found a lot of reasons to smile out.

Not only did he atone for his Game One letdown, Daquioag and the Tigers now stand just a win away from their first UAAP championship in a decade.

UST coach Bong Dela Cruz echoed Daquioag’s statements, saying Daquioag and the rest of the Tigers were too tight in Game One.

“Masyado kaming tight,” said Dela Cruz. “Hindi naman na-enjoy ‘yung game. (Kaya) sabi ko nung practice, smile tayo at maging happy tayo sa practice.”

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