UAAP: Schonny Winston, La Salle just ‘badly wanted’ to win vs Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines — Schonny Winston didn’t let his scoreless first quarter dampen his desire to help deliver La Salle’s first win over Ateneo in five years.
After being held scoreless in the first 10 minutes, the Filipino-American guard took charge offensively in the last three quarters and finished with 25 points, , powering La Salle’s 83-78 victory over Ateneo in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
“In the first quarter, Coach Tab was the bigger coach. He provided the defensive schemes to kind of stop what we do best. I just had to sit down, look at the game, see how they’re playing us, take a step back, and see how I can be effective,” said Winston, who shot 10-of-21 from the field and had six assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
Winston gave his all in the payoff period, drilling big midrange jump shots that kept the Green Archers afloat in crunch time to earn their second straight win in three games and the school’s first win against the Blue Eagles since Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Finals in 2017.
“Later down the stretch, I was just trying to do whatever it took to get the win for the team,” he said.
The graduating Winston knew how badly his team wanted to win against their fierce rivals after seven straight losses, so he was determined to do all the right things to help their cause.
“It was definitely a game we had on our schedule for a long time, so I was just trying to do everything I could to win. Get a couple more rebounds this time because they were a bigger team. I had to go in and crash the boards, but we just all wanted to win badly in this game,” Winston said.
Pumaren was glad to see the improvement of Winston and his team months after their first season together, when they didn’t have enough preparation, lost all their games to Ateneo in the eliminations and suffered a heartbreaking collapse to University of the Philippines in their do-or-die game of the Season 84 Final Four.
“The last season, we didn’t really know each other. It was the first time we’ve seen Deschon, first time he’d seen me, some of these guys I’ve seen only in the bubble and so it was more of getting to know each other. We only had a complete lineup on Feb. 14, I remember that and Mar. 26, we were already playing,” Pumaren said.
“That’s the difference. Even though there was a short (preparation for this season), we were able to take advantage of that, became busy during the preseason and at least we could see what we’ve done so far.”
After finally overcoming the ghosts of their team’s past defeats, Winston and the Green Archers remain hungry to achieve more this season as they seek to carry the momentum against University of the East on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.