AFTER an illness kept his college career from taking off, Ed Daquioag is making up for lost time and seizing his opportunity to shine with University of Santo Tomas this season.
Two years ago, the Tigers guard suffered from rheumatic fever, a bacterial disease that hits a person’s blood system. The illness set back Daquioag’s play and, eventually, cost him a spot in the Tigers' A team.
“Last, last year, nagkaroon ako ng sakit sa dugo. Nagkaroon ng bacteria. Mga isang linggo lang naman ‘yun,” the 21-year-old Ilocos Norte native said.
From being a third-string guard backing up Jeric Fortuna last season, Daquioag has become one of the Tigers' sparks off the bench in what has been an uneven campaign so far.
Playing in all 14 games in the eliminations, he posted an average of 8.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game and was instrumental in the Tigers’ late surge that led to a return to the UAAP Final Four.
Daquioag's play will also crucial if the Espana-based school hopes to get past top seed National University and return to the Finals for the second successive year.
Daquioag said he is simply making up for lost time.
“Siguro inspired lang ako. Bumabawi lang, dahil minsan pangit ang laro ko. At siyempre, andoon si Fortuna. Siyempre, siya ang priority at sila talaga ‘yung gagamitin,” said Daquioag.
“Galing din ako sa sakit. Siguro nag-rerecover pa ako,” he added.
Still, the cat-quick guard with the daredevil drives to the basket said he still needs to take maintenance medicine regularly to prevent a recurrence of his illness.
He also needs to stay away from the flu.
“Tuluy-tuloy pa rin. Iwasan ko lang na magkasipon at magka-tonsilitis. Iwas ubo rin kasi tataas ‘yung bacteria,” said Daquioag.