San Sebastian has a dependable leader in Jimbo Aquino
And Jimbo Aquino has been filling this role for most of San Sebastian Stags' campaign in the 85th NCAA senior's basketball competition.
With Aquino at the helm, the league-leading Stags clinched the first twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four after completing an elimination round sweep of last year's runner up Jose Rizal U, 84-78, last Wednesday.
Aquino unloaded 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 35 minutes of action to deliver San Sebastian's 16th win in 17 games.
His performance was enough to earn him this week's ACCEL/FilOil NCAA Player of the Week honor, his third POW citation this season.
"He's always been our team leader," SSC-R rookie coach Ato Agustin said of his 23-year-old ward, who started their last match slow before going full throttle on the second half.
"Sabi ko sa kanya, relax ka lang kasi sa nakikita ko puro forced shot ka eh. And nagpa-flop ka at pinipilit mo na tumawag ang referees. Hindi tatawag yan 'ika ko. Just play your game, relax ka lang. Contribute to your teammates and maging decoy ka muna and it worked. Maganda naman ang nilaro ni Jimbo, maganda ang ipinakita niya," Agustin added.
The Stags will again rely on Aquino's hot hands on their last eliminations assignment Monday against the defending three-time champion San Beda Red Lions.
A win will put SSC-R as the semis top seed opposite the No. 4 squad, the Rey Guevarra-less Letran Knights in the Final Four.
Aquino edged for the weekly plum his fellow three-time POW winner and one of the tournament’s top MVP contenders, John Wilson of JRU. - GMANews.TV