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    Finals 'goat' Aljon Mariano hopes UST won't let golden opportunity slip away this time

    Nov 30, 2015

    YOU usually get motivation from those who have done it before.

    But sometimes, you can get it from the ones who have fallen short.

    With University of Santo Tomas on the verge of greatness in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament, Aljon Mariano is hoping the Growling Tigers won't let this golden opportunity slip away once again.

    The former UST standout was part of the last Tigers team that made it to the finals two years ago when the España-based dribblers bowed to De la Salle in a series that went to the limit.

    Now the Tigers have a chance to relive lost glory as they face Far Eastern University in Game Three on Wednesday.

    Maligned for his struggles, particularly in the deciding game where he missed all his eight attempts and committed costly errors down the stretch, Mariano stressed the current crop must overcome all adversity to get over the hump.

    “Kasama naman talaga sa game yun eh (struggle),” the Ginebra rookie said. “Mag-stick together lang sila dun sa system at game plan nila. Tsaka defense talaga yung magpapanalo.”

    The Tigers’ showed resilience when they bucked an early deficit in Game Two to prevail behind Kevin Ferrer and force a sudden death.

    “Medyo hindi naman ako na-surprise kasi alam ko naman yung capabilities nung team lalo na yung veterans,” Mariano said. “Nakita naman natin kung paano sila nag-respond kahit down sila nung first half.”

    Failing to come through when counted upon at crunch time, Mariano is confident Ferrer or Daquioag will deliver this time – when asked who should take the last shot.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “Kasi ang hirap i-match up nun eh, lalo na yung dalawa. Ang hirap bantayan nun,” Mariano said. “Kung sino talaga mainit or sino yung mas okay yung nilalaro.”

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