UAAP Finals: Aldous Torculas brings spark of energy to UP Fighting Maroons
MANILA, Philippines — Aldous Torculas provided the energy for the University of the Philippines as his dunks highlighted his quality minutes and energized their supporters in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball Finals Game 1 on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The high-flying sophomore was a revelation in the championship series opener in front of 17,129 fans, delivering nine points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and a block in UP’s 97-67 blowout win over La Salle to inch a win closer to reclaiming the UAAP title.
In his 15 minutes of playing time, Torculas sparked the Fighting Maroons coming off the bench with his electrifying dunks.
“Siyempre hindi naman maiwasan magenjoy kumbaga finals yung mga ganung highlights part ng game Nahahype ako. Hindi ko maiwasang ngumiti o tumawa sa court,” Torculas told reporters.
(I can’t help but celebrate, smile, and have fun inside the court. This is the finals, those highlights are part of the game and it hyped me up.)
The UP Integrated School product was pumped up, too, after seeing the reaction of his teammates on his highlight dunks.
“Natuwa lang ako kasi yung reaction nila CJ [Cansino], nila Malick [Diouf], nila [JD] natuwa lang ako and nakakapush siya ng energy,” Torculas said.
(I’m just happy because of the reactions of CJ, Malick, and JD. It pumped up my energy.)
Torculas was part of last year’s Finals loss to Ateneo as a mere observer from UP’s bench but the pain of that heartbreak also motivated him to be instrumental in his sophomore season.
“I used to be an observer in Season 85. What we experienced last year was painful so I am trying to use my observations last year to help my team this finals,” he said in Filipino.
“The pressure is there but I always tell myself to relax and watch the game to absorb while I’m at the bench so when I check in, I’ll make the most out of it.”
The job is not done for the Fighting Maroons as they try to sweep the Green Archers in Game 2 on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“This win was important, we had the advantage now. But we need to double the effort next game to win the championship,” said Torculas.