NCAA: Coming off injury, Enoch Valdez returning to form for Lyceum
MANILA, Philippines—Slowly but surely, Lyceum head coach Gilbert Malabanan is enforcing Enoch Valdez back in the lineup after nursing an injury.
Valdez is starting to regain his form coming off a shoulder injury he suffered last season.
“He always tells me to be ready. I really like coach Gilbert because of his hard work. I trust him and he trusts me,” Valdez said after helping the Pirates hike their record to 2-1 following an 89-81 win over San Beda on Saturday.
The 6-foot-2 guard poured in 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, a huge leap from his nine-point outing against Mapua on Wednesday.
Malabanan, though, stressed that he is still calculating the proper minutes for Valdez to avoid any more injuries.
“Enoch has just recovered from his injury, so I didn’t want to force him,” the head tactician said.
“But his game earlier made me want to force him because he did so good,” Malabanan said in jest.
Aside from his offense, Valdez is also Lyceum’s veteran leader.
“He’s our role model here in Lyceum. His work ethic inspires us, the new players,” Gyle Montaño said after contributing a game-high 18 points for the Pirates’ second straight win.
Even with a good showing, Malabanan emphasized his desire for a balanced team and said everyone on the team deserves credit for the team’s recent strides.
“We still have to work as a team. It’s not just Enoch who built this, but everyone. Even the boys who didn’t play, you can see how they cheer the players on the court.”
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