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UAAP: Terrence Fortea rises to challenge UP with JD Cagulangan debut


UP Fighting Maroons' Terrence Fortea.

UP Fighting Maroons’ Terrence Fortea. Tristan Tamayo’s photo / INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – In the absence of JD Cagulangan, Terrence Fortea has taken the occasion to give the defending champion the University of the Philippines a successful UAAP Season 85 debut.

The Fighting Maroons played without Cagulangan, their starting point defender and the hero of Finals 3, due to muscle problems.

But Fortea, who was the third player last season, made the most of the opportunity offered by head coach Goldwin Monteverde, scoring 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds in UP’s 72-69 win over La Salle on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“I accepted the challenge because JD wasn’t playing. I really want to help the team. I know that I’m JD’s backup, but that’s not the point,” said Fortea in the Philippines after firing three pointers.

“When our brother can’t play, we should step up.”

Monteverde, Fortea’s coach since Nazareth School, has been impressed with how his longtime player has developed as a point guard after playing the shooting guard for the longest time.

“At NU, he was over two. He is the scorer. Being a point guard is a bigger challenge because you will have to facilitate the attack rather than focus on scoring,” said the UP coach. “I think from last season compared to this game, he has improved a lot. He accepts to be a point guard. I am sure that he will improve even more.”

Fortea, who came on from the bench, wanted to repay the coach’s trust.

“The belief of Coach Gold in me is yes. So I just play my game, take the assists and try to make my shots,” said the three-time UAAP junior champion.

Fortea knows there’s still a long way to go as UP gets its second win over Adamson on Wednesday at PhilSports Arena.

But he is happy to help the Maroons fight for pride in another duel with the Green Archers.

“I’m just glad we went earlier. We fought for the pride of the team. We showed that we really want to win the game,” said Fortea.

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