CHRIS Javier couldn't have picked a better time to make his first-ever three-pointer in the UAAP.
Javier converted an improbable three-pointer from the deep left corner to lift University of the East to a 79-76 win over University of the Philippines, 79-76, on Sunday in the UAAP seniors basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was only the Red Warriors’ second win in 10 tries and the first since the return to the team of Boycie Zamar, who perfectly summed up the emotions of the team after Lady Luck finally smiled on the Warriors.
“It’s a magical win for us,” said Zamar.
A center who hasn’t even attempted a three-pointer in his second year in the league, Javier had no other choice but to take the shot when their top scorer Roi Sumang gave the ball up with the clock winding down.
The former San Beda Red Cub threw a high-arching three-point shot from the left corner which was contested by Raul Soyud, hitting nothing but net.
After hitting the shot, he raised both arms in the air as he was being mobbed by his teammates. Then, his father Randy stormed all the way from the patron seats to kiss his son.
“Again, I’m not a magician, but it’s the hearts of the players which gave us this win. And I give credit to them,” said Zamar.
“Nasa dugo ko lang ‘yung pagiging warrior,” said Javier on his game-winner. “Ang thinking ko lang ay mai-shoot ‘yung bola. Kumpiyansa lang ako at hindi mawawala ‘yung composure.”
The Warriors sputtered in the end as they saw a 72-62 lead with seven minutes left slip away. The Maroons even took the lead on a 14-3 run capped by Chris Ball's lay-up, 75-76, with two minutes and 22 seconds.
But Javier tied the game splitting his two free throws with 2:04 left before his game-winner.
Javier along with Sumang each had 20 points in the game. Adrian Santos also had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Warriors, who won despite the ejection of Jai Flores after hitting Alvin Padilla with a closed fist in the fourth.
The Maroons fell to 1-9 after another heartbreaking defeat.
UE (79) – Sumang 20, Javier 20, Santos 10, Belleza 9, Sumido 8, Duran 6, Alberto 2, Hernandez 2, Flores 2, Villarias 0, Olayon 0, Gallanza 0.
UP (76) – Silungan 16, Ball 14, Padilla 12, Soyud 10, Gamboa 8, Manuel 6, Lopez 4, Hipolito 4, Montecastro 2, Mbah 0, Romero 0, Gallarza 0, Asilum 0.
Quarterscores: 17-19; 37-40; 66-58; 79-76.