MANILA, Philippines -- University of the East (UE) guard Rey Remogat made sure to leave his mark in their final two games of UAAP Season 85, and display his readiness to take charge for the Red Warriors in the future.
A walk-on into the UE basketball program, Remogat had scored a combined 14 points in their first 12 games of the men's basketball tournament, while playing behind Kyle Paranada.
But he exploded for 21 points in a 69-66 overtime defeat to the Ateneo Blue Eagles last week, and followed it up with a career-best 24 points in UE's massive 80-72 upset of De La Salle University on Saturday. Remogat scored 20 points in the second half, and drilled the dagger three-pointer with 46 seconds to play.
Afterward, he busted out the iconic "night-night" celebration made popular by NBA superstar Stephen Curry, as the Red Warriors completed a sweep of the Green Archers in Season 85.
"Yung pagpasa sa akin ng bola, pag tingin ko kasi sa shot-clock, three seconds na lang and then, no choice na ako. Kumpyansa naman ako sa bawat tira ko kaya tinira ko na," the rookie guard explained after the game.
"Eh siyempre, idol ko rin si Steph Curry kaya nagaya ko lang din. Siguro, hype lang din," he added.
Remogat's emergence late in the season has been a welcome development for the Red Warriors, a team that has pulled off several surprises in the men's basketball tournament despite ultimately falling short of the Final 4.
After going winless in Season 84, UE finished with a 5-9 record in Season 85 and can take heart from their two upset wins over La Salle, along with tough stands against defending champion University of the Philippines and Ateneo.
For Remogat, their performance this year along with his strong outings in back-to-back games will be something to build on for next season.
"Nakakatuwa lang kasi kahit na out na kami sa Final Four, nagawa ko pa rin yung ganung laro," he said. "Sobrang blessed ko kasi may coach kami na kagaya ni coach Jack [Santiago] na ganto, na hinahayaan lang na gawin yung gusto, basta stick sa system, hindi forced shot."
"At saka mas madali talagang maka-score kapag ka yung bawat tira mo, bawat galaw mo, nasa system ng coach," he added.
Remogat's breakout performances came as no surprise for Santiago, who praised the young guard's tenacity and work ethic.
"He's playing well talaga sa amin, during kahit na sa practice sa amin," the coach noted. "He's just … nao-over shadow nung dalawang Paranada eh."
"But of course, given a chance, si Remogat, every time 'yan, naka-ready 'yan," Santiago added.
Remogat himself believes that the Red Warriors are ready to take another step forward after a resurgent campaign in Season 85, and that next season will be a pivotal one for the squad.
"Una pa lang naman nitong season, ready na kami. Ready na ako," said Remogat. "Naghihintay lang ako ng chance talaga."
"Siguro sa next season, sobrang ready na kami. Hindi na kami pwedeng tawaging dark horse. Dapat respetuhin na kami as a high team," he vowed.
UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.