Nash is happy to see Douanga recoup his shooting license with a 3-point attempt

Oct 23, 2022

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In the last seconds of regulation, with Adamson behind 79-76 by three points, Jerom Lastimosa had a strong belief that Lenda Douanga would hand the ball back to him.

The lead guard, who was surrounded by the La Salle defense in that final possession, claimed, “Akala ko ibabalik niya sa akin kasi pinasa ko.”

Instead, everyone was taken aback when the Congolese big man attempted the game-tying shot, prompting Lastimosa to sigh, “Malakas ang loob din.”

With 6.0 seconds left, Douanga swished the booming three to equalize the score at 79 and force overtime, which the Soaring Falcons were able to win, 86-84, on Saturday.

“Di ba yun ang game strategy natin?” smirked coach Nash Racela in between chuckles.

But in all seriousness, the soft-spoken coach praised the big man’s bravery for taking the shot, especially given that Lastimosa was already being targeted by the opponent despite having a career-high scoring night.

Racela on Lenda Douanga 3

“We don’t really talk about it much but hindi naman siya bawal tumira. If you would notice, he is one of those foreign student-athletes who can make a three,” he said.

“Ilan na sila na tumitira, sila Ange [Kouame], pero siya pwede because he’s capable of hitting it. We just don’t want him to always look for it. So like today, he needed to take it and I asked him after the game, ‘Why did you take that three-pointer?’ Sabi naman niya, ‘I needed to take that, coach.’ So okay yun, because that just means his decision making is mature enough na and he knows when to take it.”

For Douanga, who finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, it was the biggest basket of the game.

Adamson was also reminded by the shot of Douanga’s other shocking buzzer-beater during the 2019 UAAP Season 82, when he sank a three from beyond the arc to defeat National University.

Along with Douanga, Racela praised Lastimosa for knowing when to surrender the ball.

“It’s nice that si Jerom made that pass to him kasi previously, he was forcing a lot of possessions na may kasama na siyang nalilibre, na all he needed to do was just really give up the ball,” the coach remarked. “It’s nice na noong huli, binitawan mo kaya naka-shoot si Lenda.”

The Soaring Falcons finished the first round with a 3-4 record, tied with the Green Archers who were just outside the top four, and this significant Adamson victory over La Salle rekindled its Final Four aspirations.

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