San Beda’s Dave Marcelo is Finals MVP
MANILA, Philippines – With his team protecting a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter, San Beda co-captain Dave Marcelo gathered his teammates for a huddle.
“We’re not giving this (game) away anymore,” he told his teammates, urging them to put up one final defensive stand against a desperate San Sebastian squad.
The curly-haired big man known for his defensive tenacity led by example in the most important game of the season as the Red Lions captured a second straight title Wednesday in the NCAA basketball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Marcelo, a native of Puerto Galera in Mindoro, grabbed nine of his game-high 16 rebounds in the final period, helping shut down San Sebastian’s trio of Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual in the title-clinching 57-55 victory.
“Coach (Frankie Lim) told us to throw everything we have in the finals,” said Marcelo, who was named Most Valuable Player of the finals after averaging eight points, 13.5 rebounds and a block.
For most of his career, Marcelo has played second fiddle to talented big men like Sam Ekwe and Sudan Daniel.
It was a different story this year when Marcelo needed to play more minutes because of Daniel’s absence because of injury.
Marcelo flashed different facets of his game, scoring decisive baskets in three previous victories over San Sebastian this season.
In the finals though it was his defense and rebounding that proved key for the Red Lions.
“He (Marcelo) deserves the award,” said Lim. “He played very good defense in the finals.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.