Big shot Subido eyes bigger shots versus Eagles
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — From his grade school days at Lourdes to his high school stint at De La Salle-Zobel, Renzo Subido had taken over in the stretch and had hit clutch shots after clutch shots to lift his side to numerous victories.

But his latest caper – with UST’s season on the line, against last year’s MVP Bright Akhuetie no less – and from way, way behind the arc – should rank high from his list of feats and should firm up the Bukidnon native’s claim as one of the big-shot takers this side of the collegiate league.

It was pure heart, sheer determination. 

“What I do the night of every game is to visualize, simulate all the things that could happen. It’s about mental preparation,” said Subido, referring to his dagger of a three from 27 feet out that shoved UST to a 66-65 lead with 26 seconds left in the pressure-packed contest. 

But he said it’s not just about mental preparation, stressing: “I always practice it on the court. Coaches Aldin (Ayo) and Mcjour (Luib) would tell me that every time I do extra practice, I have to simulate, I have to visualize the possible scenarios.”

He added that he’s been used to taking those kinds of shots during his younger days. 

“But this one is big, indeed,” said Subido. “But it could’ve gone either way, I mean, I could’ve turned out the goat had I missed it.”

In short, he just took the gamble – and won. And UST escaped, 68-65, over the twice-to-beat UP in their do-or-die duel at the MOA Arena Wednesday, bringing the Tigers back in the league’s biggest stage since Season 78 in 2015, the year Subido reluctantly sat out the finals due to injury.

Then as a sophomore, the 5-8 spitfire sustained an ACL injury and watched helplessly from the sidelines as FEU edged UST to claim the crown in three games.

“That I think was my worst moment – when I suffered an ACL injury and had a hard time getting back into shape,” said Subido. “But right now, I’m just grateful and blessed that I’m back.”

And how.

The road to recovery actually didn’t come easy. It was, in fact, just as frustrating as the Tigers, with the departure of then stalwarts Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag and Karim Abdul, struggled and won just three games under then new coach Boy Sablan. For personal reasons, Subido was forced to skip the Season 80 hostilities that saw the Tigers finish with a dismal 1-13 slate.

“It was a tough decision (to leave UST and the UAAP),” he recalled. “But it’s one sacrifice I had to make to be able to perform what I have been able to do today.”

With Ayo moving from Taft Ave. (La Salle) to España, Subido was recalled back although the Tigers still fell short and missed the Final Four last season.

As a senior, Subido didn’t only provide the much-needed leadership but also the hustle and firepower and poise as the Tigers scrambled to get to the semis but lived through three sudden deaths to get a crack at the championship – against a team that hasn’t dropped a game this season.

“Ateneo is really a tough team,” said Subido. “But for sure, we’ll double the effort that we had put up against UP (against Ateneo).”

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