KYLE Suarez is glad to have played his best game as a University of Santo Tomas Growling Tiger on a year where he just recovered from the second anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear of his career.
Just 21, Suarez has to recover from not one but two ACL injuries. He sustained the first one as a senior in high school at Ateneo and has just regained ful fitness after a second ACL injury in December of 2014.
But Suarez is back in form and it showed on Wednesday when he scored nine points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from three-point range in UST’s 77-61 win over La Salle at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Prior to the game, he didn’t score a point in his three outings.
“I want to thank the Lord for the opportunity to play. It’s a good feeling (after the) hardwork recovering from another ACL,” said Suarez, who took a one-year residency after transferring from University of the Philippines to USt at the end of the 2013 season.
The 6-foot-2 cager declined to reveal the reason why he left UP although Suarez said has long been waiting for Season 78 and was looking forward to playing in front of a supportive UST crowd.
“It’s an exciting one for me,” said Suarez. “I waited for one year. The community is so supportive. Paglabas pa lang, nandyan na ‘yung crowd. Everyone wants to perform. Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to be in top spot.”
The Tigers are now in top spot, thanks to Suarez led the team back against La Salle with his outside sniping.
“Maraming nag-step up lalo na si Kyle. Sobra siyang nag-step up,” said Tigers coach Bong Dela Cruz.
[See Tigers continue to roll]
Despite deciding not to stay with Ateneo after high school and leaving UP during college, Suarez said he remains supportive of his former schools.
“The team na kung saan ako galing — Ateneo and UP — I still have my support to them,” said Suarez.
But his heart is now with UST.
“I think we’ve worked hard,” Suarez said “God has given us the harvest. Three times a day kami nag-practice. Hindi siya ganun kadali. The extra work is paying off.”