MANILA – FEU-Diliman head coach Allan Albano had one simple reminder for the Baby Tamaraws before Game 2 of their UAAP high school boys’ championship series against Adamson University tipped off.
“Isa lang ang nilagay ko sa whiteboard kanina. Effort is the key,” the mentor said.
Throughout Game 2, it was guard Dywne Miranda who arguably exemplified the instruction the most, playing through pain and finishing the contest to help deliver the boys’ title to FEU.
The son of now FEU Tamaraws head coach Dennis “Denok” Miranda, Dwyne’s right knee collided with an opposing player when he attempted to draw an offensive foul in the third quarter of their intense battle against the Baby Falcons on Friday.
He would limp in pain afterwards, and had to be subbed out of the game immediately.
“‘Yung play na ‘yun, nagpapa-draw charge ako, pero tinamaan ‘yung tuhod ko. Tinry ko itayo, pero paika-ika ako,” the 17-year-old Miranda shared. “Nabigla lang ako, kasi pagtama, ang sakit.”
FEU’s physical therapist wasted no time attending to Miranda, applying liniment before asking the latter if he could push through. Miranda gave him the thumbs up sign, taking the risk as he did not want to miss being inside the floor in the eventual title-clincher.
“Pagka-sub ko, tinesting ko ng kaunti, tapos minasahe. Gustong-gusto ko talaga pumasok kasi kailangan eh,” he added.
A vital contributor for the Baby Tamaraws all-season long, Miranda would finish with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, and a gold medal wrapped around his neck as his risk paid off.
Albano lauded his wards’ eagerness to close the series out against a feisty Baby Falcons side.
“From the jumpball palang, nakita ko na sa kanila yung effort na kunin na yung series na ‘to,” he said. “Saludo rin ako sa Adamson. They didn't give up.”
Before winning the championship, Miranda was a Team B player fighting for a main roster spot on the Baby Tamaraws squad.
It was his determination which made that dream come true, and fittingly, his personified effort -- with help from a little gamble -- turned him into a champion.
“Team B kaming tatlo ni John Rey (Pasaol), ni JR (Bautista) so ito talaga ‘yung pinangarap namin, na mag champion kami. Pinaghandaan namin,” he shared.
“Pinilit ko talaga, kasi last game na. Binuhos ko na lahat. Worth it naman, champion.”