There is no quit in Ayaay, Zark’s-Lyceum
MJ Ayaay knows how big his responsibility is whenever he’s on the floor for Zark’s Burger-Lyceum.
As one of the team’s veterans, the 24-year-old has been coach Topex Robinson’s glue guy, the one to calm the team whenever things go array.
But Ayaay’s mettle was tested on Thursday as Zark’s-Lyceum found itself on the brink of elimination.
Trailing CEU, 72-61 with 7:27 left in the game, things looked bleak for the Jawbreakers following the sudden exit of CJ Perez, who fouled out with 4:54 remaining in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinals.
Then, Ayaay settled everyone down.
“I’m the veteran here and I know coach Topex is counting on me. I didn’t want to let him down,” he said. “So I told my teammates that we had no choice but to help each other out, especially on defense.”
From there, Zark’s-Lyceum got their shots down and slowly chipped the deficit away until it finally tied the game at the 3:34 mark.
In the end, the Jawbreakers strung a 21-5 finishing kick to steal the game, 82-77, and advance to the semifinals.
“For me, as long as we’re alive, there is hope. We can’t quit because the ball is round and anything can happen. Even though we’re trailing, we just had to keep on grinding,” said Ayaay, who finished with 15 points, four rebounds, five steals, and four blocks in the big victory.
Now that Zark’s-Lyceum got itself a new lease on life, it revived its hopes of winning the crown once again, with the best-of-three semifinals series against Marinerong Pilipino scheduled to open on Tuesday.
And Ayaay is bringing in a positive attitude as he and the rest of the Jawbreakers eye to make the most of this opportunity.
“We don’t want to be embarrassed because our bosses have high expectation on us. That’s going to be our motivation as we hope to win the championship,” he said.