It may be not the perfect moment he pictured in his mind to end his high school career, but season MVP Aljun Melecio held his head high after the La Salle de Zobel fell short in the UAAP Season 78 Juniors Finals against eventual champion Nazareth School of NU Bullpups.
Although seen bursting into tears while hugging his father at the bleacher section, Melecio quickly gathered himself and proudly sang the La Salle’s hymn in his final game in the junior ranks.
— Jason Mercene (@JasonMercenePH) March 4, 2016
“No regrets, ginawa ko naman lahat ng kaya kong gawin tsaka mga teammates ko. No regrets, no hard feelings,” said Melecio, who banked in a game-high 22 points in their blowout loss at the hands of the Bullpups, 96-75.
Melecio sizzled hot in the second frame, firing 14 points to bring Zobel within 2 but was not able to save the day and extend the series to a winner-take-all championship after the Bullpups came back charging in the third.
Looking back in his journey in his young basketball career, the college-bound combo guard expressed his utmost gratitude to Zobel and the people who helped him.
“Grabe, kung wala ako sa Zobel, siguro wala akong future ngayon,” shared Melecio. “Nagpapasalamat ako kina Coach Boris, Coach Loren, na inalagaan nila ako throughout my high school career. Kung wala sila, wala ako.”
With his career in Zobel uniform already over, Melecio will still don a La Salle jersey in college for the Green Archers.
“Next week, see you in Taft,” he said. “Ibang level na, siguro work hard kasi ibang level ‘yung college di kagaya ng high school na medyo madaling galaw-galawan.”
His transition from an underdog team in high school to a title-favorite squad in college gives Melecio an inkling on what he will provide for Coach Aldin Ayo.
“Compare to Zobel, pagdating ko sa Taft, hindi na (heavy) minutes yung magagawa ko, kailangan ko bigyan si Coach Aldin ng quality minutes para masanay rin ako at makacontribute sa La Salle,” said Melecio. – By Jason Mercene
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