MANILA, Philippines – In just his first year in Arellano University, Justin Arana is already making the most out of his second shot in his collegiate career.
A seldom-used bench player during a three-year stint in University of Santo Tomas (UST), Arana has transformed into a source of strength for the Chiefs in their rebuilding process.
The 6-foot-5 big man played his best game for Arellano so far last week, coming up with the crucial plays in crunch time during the Chiefs' game against Lyceum of the Philippines University.
Arana finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the Chiefs' 87-81 upset of the Pirates – a win that put an end to their three-game skid.
His performance earned Arana the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week citation.
Arana has been repaying his new team's trust with stellar play.
"We talk from time to time and I remind him na magaling talaga siya," said Arellano mentor Cholo Martin. "He was consistent the whole week and today, nag-deliver ulit siya."
Arana not only hit shot after shot for Arellano, but also outworked Lyceum center Mike Nzeusseu in crunch time and held him scoreless in the fourth quarter.
"Sobrang laking bagay sa akin ngayon 'to kasi before sa UST, quality minutes lang ako. Binigyan ako ng kumpyansa ng Arellano and ng coach namin," said Arana.
"Kaya ko ni-grab ko lang talaga ang opportunity na 'to para ibalik sa kanila 'yung pasasalamat ko na tinanggap nila ako," he added.
Arana beat San Beda University's Calvin Oftana and Evan Nelle as well as San Sebastian College's Allyn Bulanadi for the weekly plum handed out by scribes from print and online covering the beat.
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