Melecio, La Salle heave sigh of relief: Good thing Abando had big shoes
MANILA, Philippines—It was a game of inches.
De La Salle survived University of Santo Tomas, 80-79, in the slimmest of victories in a crucial showdown Wednesday, with Rhenz Abando’s shoes getting in the way of an overtime game.
Abando, who went mental in the final 30 seconds after going on a personal 8-0 run off improbable plays, would’ve sent given the game an extra five minutes had he not stepped on the line in an three-point attempt.
Aljun Melecio and La Salle let a massive sigh of relief after the cardiac game that helped them stay in the thick of things in the Final Four race.
“I was in disbelief, shocked,” said Melecio of Abando’s long two in Filipino Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s a good thing he has big shoes. If Renzo [Subido] shot that, it won’t be a stepping call because he shoots the ball farther from the line,” added Melecio who had 18 points and six assists.
Abando’s shot was impressive nonetheless after he stole Andrei Caracut’s errant pass before stopping and popping for the long distance jumper that, anticlimactically, made it a one-point game with mere seconds left.
It’s also worth noting that Abando wore shoes that were a size bigger.
Abando wears size 12 sneakers and the very pair of Nike Zoom Freak 1s he wore against the Green Archers was a size 13 and was a gift from Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena.