MANILA - A subdued Val Chauca owned up to his ill-timed mistakes in the fourth quarter that wound up costing Adamson University in their UAAP Season 82 game against the University of the Philippines on Sunday.
Chauca, the Fil-Peruvian one-and-done point guard, was superb in the first half as he put up 17 points to help Adamson stay in control, 37-36. He made several key plays in the third quarter as well, assisting on buckets by Simon Camacho as they broke the game open, 66-57.
But he struggled in the final frame, repeatedly dribbling into traps and committing crucial turnovers. He only scored two more points in the second half -- a floater with 5:12 left that gave Adamson a 74-67 lead. UP would answer with 9 straight points to take the lead, and eventually, the Maroons seized the game, 81-77.
"Just turned the ball over a lot," said Chauca after the game. "As a veteran, coach Franz (Pumaren) expects a lot more, like of leadership."
"It's on me. I take full responsibility," he added.
Chauca finished with a team-high 19 points, cooling off considerably after his strong start. He also had 5 assists, but also committed 4 turnovers.
"I'm a veteran on the team and can't make mistakes like that," said Chauca. "Rather just have the ball in my hand than make errant passes. Just be more deliberate with my decisions."
This is not the first time that Chauca had gotten off to a fine start against UP, only to taper off in the end. In their first round encounter against the Fighting Maroons, he scored 15 of his 21 points in a scintillating second quarter to help Adamson seize the lead.
But UP ended up winning in overtime, 83-82, to frustrate the Falcons.
"I think I was thinking more of uh, kill the clock, instead of just playing basketball," Chauca admitted. "When you start doing that as a point guard, and you're not used that, you're not playing that type of like, hold the ball, you're gonna make bad decisions."
"I think just trying to stay aggressive, whether it's the third quarter, fourth quarter, just staying aggressive and make more deliberate decisions," he added.
Not all is lost for the Falcons, who dropped to 4-7 in the team standings. They are one and a half games behind Far Eastern University (6-6) for the fourth spot.
But the result, and his own subpar performance, will stay with Chauca.
"Pretty much worked my whole life to get to this point, playing in the biggest stage, and that was a heartbreaker," he said. "That one hurt a lot."
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