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Trust from Mapua coaches leads to game-winning shot, reveals Paolo Hernandez in NCAA matchup

MANILA, Philippines—Just by merely looking at the stat sheet, Mapua’s Paolo Hernandez had a forgettable outing against San Beda on Sunday. After all, Hernandez finished with just four points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field and three turnovers. But the numbers don’t tell the entire story with Hernandez’s lone field goal being the biggest shot of the game, hitting a late 3-pointer from the left wing to win it for Mapua over San Beda, 71-69. His game-winner, however, wouldn’t have happened had it not been for his coaches’ trust in him. “Trust. There is nothing else to it. My coaches trust me so I’m just repaying them,” said the guard in Filipino at San Juan Arena on Sunday. “I’m just repaying them even if I had so many lapses. I admit I had turnovers and missed free throws. Basically, I couldn’t lead my team so with the game on the line, that shot was from the Lord because even I didn’t know if it was going in. I just trust my shot, whatever happens.” Coach Randy Alcantara was barely surprised when Hernandez, despite his struggles, made the clutch bucket that pushed the Cardinals to the top spot a 12-3 card. “My trust in him won’t go away. He struggled, he had turnovers but we kept talking to him so when the time came, we told him it’s his. Whether it goes in or not, if it’s crunch time, he has to be there,” told Alcantara. “That shot was going to go in because he practices that every day.”

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