Allyn Bulanadi turned from zero to hero on Tuesday afternoon when he drilled in a cold-blooded 20-footer with 3.8 seconds left, powering San Sebastian to a giant-sized 72-71 victory over San Beda in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The 6-foot-2 Bulanadi, 19, made a costly turnover during an inbound play but more than made up for it by coming up big in the closing seconds, scoring the Golden Stags’ last four markers in the last 24 seconds, capped by that clutch jumper in transition, to stun another powerhouse team in the mold of the Red Lions.
And if there’s someone proudest to see the lefty Davao City native deliver, it’s his mom Up There.
“Para sa kanya po ‘yun,” he said, referring to his mother who passed away last June. “Nanonood lang po siya siguro doon. Para sa kanya po ‘yun at tinulungan niya po ako.”
Bulanadi went on to finish with a game-high 16 markers and stood tallest in the Golden Stags’ strong fightback from 14 points down—52-66—midway in the final canto to gain a fitting follow-up to their 71-55 stunner against the erstwhile streaking Altas of Perpetual Help last week.
Redeeming himself following a big error against San Beda defender Robert Bolick during an inbound play was all Bulanadi wanted.
“Gusto ko makabawi kasi galing ako sa error na ‘yun,” he said, referring to his second error overall that led to an easy Davon Potts lay-in that restored San Beda’s cushion to three at 71-68 and nearly cost San Sebastian big time in the last 23.7 seconds.
“‘Yung shoot na ‘yun, nasa isip ko na talaga itira kasi si RK (Ilagan) na-deny na. Medyo mahigpit na po ‘yung depensa at wala na rin ‘yung oras kaya diniretso ko na lang,” added Bulanadi, who also added six rebounds, two steals and an assist in more than 23 minutes of action.
“Adrenaline rush na lang rin po. Iniisip ko na lang na para sa team ang tira na ‘yun,” he concluded. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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