NCAA: Robi Nayve stays positive despite ‘tough’ CSB swan song
MANILA, Philippines–College of St. Benilde’s graduating guard Robi Nayve had one of the worst games of his career.
In his collegiate career’s swan song, Nayve ended up scoreless in 17 minutes of action in the Blazers’ 78-67 loss at the hands of Mapua in the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball Final Four at Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday.
But instead of being hard on himself, Nayve exited the locker room with his head held high.
It wasn’t a colorful exit, by all means, but Nayve is ending his collegiate stint the way he wants to be remembered–which is a player who creates opportunities for his teammates.
“I told myself that I’ll create more for the team and open things up for the guys. Scoring should be there but I didn’t expect to go scoreless in this game. It’s kind of tough,” said Nayve.
“But if I want to open up for the guys, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t shoot. With me being a threat inside the court I really have to make plays.”
Nayve didn’t get into the scoring column but he did have five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
“To help,” has always been the veteran guard’s mindset since he started his journey in Taft and where basketball takes him next.
After Season 98, Benilde found a new member of the coaching staff in JC Cullar, who was one of the top guards during the Blazers’ Finals run last year.
It’s still uncertain whether Nayve goes the same path but he’s open to it.
“I don’t know about coaching yet but if there’s anything they want me to do to help the guys with, especially with leading the team for the young guys coming in who want to learn more and the culture we’re trying to pass on to the guys, I’ll be here for them,” he said.
“That’s the only thing I can give. I’m very open to whatever questions they want to ask me. I really don’t mind, I’d really love to help them.”
Even fellow graduating player Will Gozum sees Nayve as someone who is capable of being part of head coach Charles Tiu’s staff.
“I don’t know if Robi wants that, but I really think he can do it,” said Gozum after the Season 98 MVP finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Tiu wouldn’t mind a helping hand from one of his players or two with Gozum also more than willing to provide assistance in any capacity.
“If I have a chance to help coach Charles, why not?” said Gozum.
“If I could be a skills coach and they’d bump me all the time, I’d be thankful,” he added in jest.