UAAP Finals: Coach’s confidence in Isaac Go pays off

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Isaac Go played the role of a hero for the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who reciprocated his coaches’ trust with a big time performance in the clutch.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — There is no greater folk hero for the Ateneo community at the moment than Isaac Go.

With La Salle breathing down Ateneo’s necks, 82-80, Go sent the blue side of the gallery into a frenzy after draining a dagger triple to put Ateneo beyond reach, 85-80 with only 25 seconds left in the game.

After the final buzzer, under the pour of white confetti and the booming chants of ‘Go Ateneo, One Big Fight!’, coach Sandy Arespacochaga shared a hug with Go.

‘What did I tell you?! What did I tell you?!’ Arespacochaga screamed at Go.

When asked about that particular moment, the Ateneo coach called back to their loss against La Salle last year at the same venue.

“Last year we lost, and down by the far basket towards the baseline, he actually went to me and he cried,” he said. “He was telling me he was sorry.”

Before the crucial Game 3 meeting, Arespacochaga approached the Ateneo big man and made a bold prediction.

“I just told him that this game we were going to exorcise that moment, and he is going to have a different feeling, he is going to have a different experience,” Arespacochaga said. “I told him don’t be afraid of losing, and I just told him that I had confidence in him.”

After the game, Go received a sponsor selected award that got the Ateneo crowd on their feet once again.

Just a year after crying on the court after losing the championship, the thousands in attendance were up and chanting Go’s name.

Arespacochaga believed that it was an opportunity for Go to replace bad memories with great ones.

“True enough he did it,” he concluded with a wide smile.

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