VIEW FROM THE OUTFIELD: Ef, the switch-flipper

Kevin Quiambao may be the Season MVP and Evan Nelle a member of the Mythical Team but it cannot be denied that it took the gallant effort of an unsung hero like Francis Escandor to bring life back to a team that suffered a 30-point massacre in Game 1.

Escandor’s name will be etched in the annals of De La Salle University as the one who flipped the switch on the fortunes of the Green Archers with his Game 2 explosion.

Ef led the Green Archers in scoring with 14 points including 4 connections from beyond the arc. Those four were taken with utmost confidence and conviction.

I remember when Ef was still playing high school ball with the Ateneo de Davao University Blue Knights, his personal coach Ronnel Leuterio told his father Glenn that in order for Ef to make it to the UAAP, he must be converted into a shooter. Although he has grown above six feet at the age of 16 and played the 4 position, he would still be undersized at that position.

Coach Ronnel pointed out, it is imperative that he evolve into a marksman. Like a soldier trained for battle, Ef was literally made to march with a rifle and sleep with a rifle. If that is the way to make him into a steel-nerved triggerman, coach Ronnel would do it. Ef went through the process.

When he got into the Taft squad’s lineup, he was ready to be a gunner.

In Sunday’s Game 2, Ef put all his learnings, all his hardwork to full display. From a frozen cheese under the previous coaches, Ef was unveiled in an art exhibit at the grandest gallery in Game 2.

What Ef did in that game, paved the way for a do-or-die Game 3 where Quiambao and Nelle shone bright. Yes, it was KQ and Nelle’s time to shine in the title clincher, but the fact cannot be swept aside that wthout Ef’ carrying the Archers in Game 2, there would be no Game 3 to even talk about.

What a journey it has been for this kid. As his sister Inna would quip: The boy fondly called “El Aparador” for his size, is now known as “Tres-candor” for his shooting.

Take a bow, champ.

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