Ed Daquioag may have been starstruck by Jayson Castro at first, but it didn’t stop him from performing at his best. The rookie went on another tear, finishing with 23 points and four rebounds in Meralco’s 98-87 win over TNT on Friday.
More notably, the Santo Tomas star bucked his nerves and even nailed a three right in front of Castro in the final minute to seal the win — the Bolts’ second in three outings.
Daquioag explained that everything was spur of the moment, saying, “Nadala lang ako sa game and kailangan lang talaga namin manalo para ma-boost yung confidence namin for the next games.”
But if his two-game stretch was any indication, Daquioag is primed and ready to take a bigger role for Meralco. Even coach Norman Black noticed, praising the neophyte for his relentless showing in the tiff.
“He’s a rookie but he doesn’t play like a rookie. He’s a smart kid, to go along with the fact that he’s very talented,” he said. “I’m very happy for him also that he contributed for the team’s success today. I’m hoping to see him develop more in the year as we play more games.”
And that’s exactly what Daquioag wants, to sustain this run regardless of the minutes given to him by Black.
“Si coach yung magde-decide sa playing time. Di naman tayo lagi sigurong nasa taas kaya syempre, kailangan natin i-maintain yung laro natin,” he said. “At least alam ni coach na pag second half, pwede nya ako i-test ulit and then kung talagang okay ako, eh di tuloy-tuloy na lang.”
Daquioag ended: “Sa akin naman, ginagawa ko lang yung laro ko, kung ano lang matutulong ko sa kanila.”