MANILA, Philippines – When you have a team that has a known scorer in Jeron Teng, a stat sheet-stuffing big man in Ben Mbala, and depth that's the most talented in the league, someone will have to do the other things in order to get wins.
That's where Thomas Torres, the DLSU Green Archers' fifth-year point guard, comes in.
From being mainly tasked to put the ball in the hole last year, Torres is now doing more of the other important aspects – particularly defending and ensuring the ball reaches his open teammates.
"If you look at our line-up, parang ang dali nang trabaho ko… 'cause ang trabaho ko, dumepensa," he said following La Salle's win over Ateneo on Sunday, October 2, at the Mall of Asia Arena. The win improved the record of DLSU to 7-0 as the team swept the first round of UAAP Season 79.
(If you look at our line-up, my job is pretty easy… because my job is to play defense.)
"Especially [with] Ben coming in, Abu (Tratter) talagang (really) [improving], and Jason (Perkins) came back, talagang you know you just have to run our play and then execute. And then from there, if you're open, tira (shoot it)."
Torres was partly responsible for what's the best highlight play of the UAAP season so far. During the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Torres had the ball on the break, lobbed it up behind his head, and it was caught by Mbala who threw down a one-handed dunk.
"Every single time kasi, me and Ben have that connection na, 'yung lob, as in parang alam mo 'yung sinasabi nila na naaamoy mo na agad? So 'yun 'yung connection na meron kami ni Ben," Torres said about the play.
(Because every single time, me and Ben have that connection on the lob similar to when people say, "You can smell it already." So that's the connection I have with Ben.)
"'Yung alley-oop na 'yun (That alley-oop pass), actually, for me, it was a bad pass, pero (but) he made me look good with that dunk," the point guard later added with a laugh.
When asked whether or not Torres worked on that specific play in practice, Mbala answered, "Yeah, actually."
The big man from Cameroon also praised his teammates who found him for the highlight-play opportunities.
"I can say it was just a fast break and I was lucky enough that my teammates saw me running the floor and just threw it up. I just jumped and I caught it."
Torres, who admits he's trying to play more like former teammate and captain LA Revilla, also said that he won't get gun-shy with taking shots as long as he's left open.
"That's what coaches are always telling us – if you're open, take the shot. We practice that day in, day out." – Rappler.com