MANILA – Just a week into the NCAA Season 95 men's basketball tournament, graduating guard Jethro Mendoza has already given Emilio Aguinaldo College a moment to remember.
Mendoza converted the go-ahead lay-up with 1.5 seconds to go as the Generals pulled off a massive 84-82 upset over Lyceum of the Philippines last Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
His clutch moment earned Mendoza the season's first Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week.
Mendoza poured eight of his team-high 21 points in the closing stretch, towing the Generals to their first win against the Pirates since 2016.
He drained six three-pointers in the win, while adding four rebounds, two assists, and a steal without a single turnover in 26 minutes of action.
"Sabi lang namin, atin 'to, lalaban tayo hanggang matapos. Kahit na nakakahabol na sila, gawin lang namin 'yung tama," said Mendoza, who helped EAC fend off Lyceum's rally from an 18-point deficit.
It helps that first-year head coach Oliver Bunyi has full trust in his deadshot shooter.
"I was telling them, even if Jethro is doing 0-of-10 in the first part, I will still trust him to take the ball outside. That's his job. 'Yun naman, naging successful siya," said Bunyi.
Mendoza bested Jerrick Balanza of Letran, RK Ilagan of San Sebastian, Jaycee Marcelino of Lyceum, Edgar Charcos of Perpetual, and the San Beda troika of James Canlas, Evan Nelle and Donald Tankoua for the weekly award handed out by scribes from print and online covering the beat.
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