Troy Mallillin plays down switch from La Salle to Ateneo as he savors first UAAP title
Troy Mallillin celebrated his first UAAP title with the Blue Eagles in his rookie season. Jerome Ascano 

MONTHS before UAAP Season 80 started, Troy Mallillin was pretty much settled at La Salle in college after winning the NCAA Juniors MVP award with the LSGH Greenies.

On Sunday, Mallillin, who had already played a few preseason games early this year with La Salle, was celebrating with his Ateneo teammates after the Blue Eagles won the UAAP Season 80 championship at the expense of the Green Archers team he bolted.

The Ateneo rookie, however, said his transfer from La Salle was the last thing in his mind in the din of the Blue Eagles' party at the Big Dome.

“Sobrang saya. Hindi ko na inisip ‘yung paglipat ko papunta sa Ateneo. Hindi ko na inisip ‘yun. Ang inisip ko lang, magtrabaho para sa team,” said Mallillin, who played only nine games this season and averaged just 1.4 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.1 assists this season.

"Sumunod lang ako sa mga coaches. Nagtrabaho lang ako," he added. 

Despite his limited minutes, Mallillin felt a sense of fulfilment in knowing that he had also contributed to the team in training.

“Actually, tumutulong ako sa practice. Kunwari, pinapadepensa ako ng mga coaches. Tinutulungan ko sila para matuto sila,” Mallillin said.

Heading into his sophomore year, the former NCAA MVP said he will continue to work hard as the Blue Eagles defend the crown.

“Trabaho lang at susunod sa mga coaches. Maging motivation din ‘yung mga graduating players,” said Mallillin.

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