Game 3 is nothing new to him.
It has come down to one final match between the UP Fighting Maroons and the De La Salle Green Archers to decide who will take home the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball crown.
After a dominant bounce-back performance by La Salle in Game 2 to tie the best-of-three series, the Taft-based squad is hoping for one more spectacular performance from the players.
Doing it all in Game 2 was Evan Nelle, who despite scoring only four points, tallied 12 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, a block, and only had one turnover.
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But the question remains: Can La Salle overcome yet another challenge in the do-or-die Game 3?
Players would be the first to tell you that a rubber match is unlike any other.
UP has all the Game 3 experience, having gone through it already in back-to-back finals prior to this season, including winning it all in Season 84.
La Salle’s situation, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. No one from the current Green Archers has played in a Game 3 in the UAAP finals.
Fortunately, there’s a sigh of relief for the young squad.
Nelle played in a Game 3 for the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA finals in 2019. They, however, lost to the Letran Knights, 81-79.
But despite how frantic and nerve-wracking a Game 3 can be, Nelle is quite confident about what he can bring to La Salle in the decider against UP this Wednesday.
“I just have to be the leader that I am,” Nelle said in an interview with reporters.
“We have a lot of leaders in our team. Everybody could speak up, everybody could do something, and everybody could contribute, so the only thing I could bring is maybe motivational talks or try to calm them down when things are getting out of hand,” added the Mythical Five member.
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He also admitted that Game 3 will be decided by just one simple factor.
“We just have to execute. That's just it. It comes down to pagalingan na lang talaga (mag-execute) itong Game 3,” said Nelle.
Catch the do-or-die Game 3 between La Salle and UP this Wednesday live at 6 p.m. on One Sports, the UAAP Varsity Channel, and the Pilipinas Live app.