Lao grateful for UP teammates, coaches: They never lost trust in me | Inquirer Sports

Lao grateful for UP teammates, coaches: They never lost trust in me

/ 12:06 PM November 07, 2016

UP Maroons celebrate.Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

FILE – UP Fighting Maroons celebrate after beating the Ateneo Blue Eagles in UAAP Season 79.Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Kyles Lao is back.

After missing last season due to an ACL injury, the former Rookie of the Year announced his return with a blazing third quarter in University of the Philippines’ 74-69 win over University of Santo Tomas on Sunday.


“I’m really happy for the team,” said Lao. “I know I haven’t been there all throughout the season, but siyempre I’m really thankful for coach and my teammates na nandoon pa rin yung trust na binigay nila sa akin.”


Coach Bo Perasol never lost hope on his playmaker, trusting that sooner or later, Lao can make an impact when the opportunity presents itself.

“Si Kyles, hindi niya inaasahan na bubunutin ko sya. Nabigla siya pero laging usapan namin na we have to be ready,” said Perasol. “Many of those who were able to contribute were inspired on what Kyles did. He was able to get those crucial shots. Yung mga tira ng mga di ko usually ginagamit, they were able to make it.”

Lao ignited the bench mob for UP, scoring all of his six points in a crucial stretch in the third quarter. The Fighting Maroons’ reserves combined for 35 points.

The 6-foot guard shared the tough road he had to endure the past year as he struggled to fit in with the rest of the UP squad.

“It’s mental. It’s really a difficult process going back from an ACL injury, lalo na one-year layoff from the UAAP,” he said.

As hard as his comeback trail may have seemed, Lao knew he had his team’s confidence throughout the process. 


“Nandoon yung trust ng teammates ko, nandoon yung trust ng coaches na hindi pa rin nawawala yung Kyles Lao na kilala nila dati. Yun lang ang kailangan eh, more on self-confidence na rin kasi nandoon na rin yung confidence ng ibang tao sa akin,” Lao said. “Sabi ko nung game na ito, ako na lang ang hinihintay ng sarili ko.”

And on Sunday, he finally did as UP pounced on hapless UST to keep itself in the thick of the Final Four race with a 5-8 card.

But the biggest victory for Lao is his renewed belief in himself as he seeks to help the Fighting Maroons clinch their first Final Four appearance since 1997.

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“It’s proving to myself and proving to the people na kaya ko pa rin,” he said.

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TAGS: Basketball, Kyles Lao, UAAP Season 79, UP Fighting Maroons, UST Growling Tigers

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