Jolo Mendoza says Mythical Five snub had nothing to do with big game for Blue Eaglets
Jolo Mendoza says he has one more year in the junior ranks to prove his worth in the league. Dante Peralta

JOLO Mendoza waved off suggestions his sterling performance in Game Two of the UAAP Juniors finals had something to do with missing out on a place in the Mythical Five, although his coach believes so.

Mendoza, who fell just two statistical points short of making it to the Mythical team, came up with 20 points in leading Ateneo to a 78-76 victory on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.

[See Blue Eaglets one win away from UAAP Juniors title after narrow victory over Bullpups]

Mike and Matt Nieto of Ateneo, Mark Dyke of National University, Aljun Melecio of De La Salle-Zobel, and Frederick Tungcab of Adamson were handed the trophies before the game, but Mendoza insisted the individual award was far from his mind.

Statistical points are the only basis for determining the individual awards.

“Hindi ko na iniisip ’yun dahil para sa team ’yun. Ang iniisip ko ’yung kapakanan ng team kasi down kami. Mahihirapan na kami kapag natalo pa kami.

“At may one year pa naman ako,” said Mendoza, a member of the Philippine team that saw action in last year’s Fiba Under-17 World Championship.

But Blue Eaglets coach Joe Silva said he used the perceived snub to motivate Mendoza.  

“I told Jolo that he should be part of the Mythical Five. He lost by two statistical points and I told him to prove that he belonged there,” said Silva.

“He responded to it,” Silva said.

Mendoza, who averages 14.6 points per game, said the Blue Eaglets simply played more aggressively than they did in Game One, when they suffered their first loss of Season 77.

[See Mark Dyke double-double helps NU Bullpups shatter Blue Eaglets' cloak of invincibility]

“Mas aggressive lang kami ngayon. Mas umatake kami at nag-share ng bola. 13 assists kami. Today, we had 15. Whenever we have 15 or more assists, nananalo kami,” said Mendoza.

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