Written by Jonash Dannug
With Clint Escamis slowed down by an injury, Mapua Red Robins breakout star Dan Arches was the next man up for the Red Robins.
“Nung na injured si Clint, syempre malaki nawala sa team kasi siya ‘yung captain ball at beterano namin sa team,” he said.
“Kaya nasa mindset ko is pagkakataon ko na para mag step-up at kailangan ko talaga mag step up kasi last season ko na sa Juniors, do or die kumbaga,” Dan added.
This came as a big surprise to everyone. Arches only had minimal averages of 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in his first season with Mapua.
Given a bigger opportunity in his second year, the 6’1″ scorer increased his numbers exponentially. He averaged with 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals all throughout the elimination round.
More than the numbers, Dan came through for the Red Robins when it mattered most. As the Red Robins found themselves in various crucial situations, the team banked on Arches who, time and time again, delivered for them; earning his nickname “Dagger Dan.”
However, despite his outstanding performance in the eliminations, Dan still had a lot left in his tank and did all the damage where it mattered the most – in the Final Four and Finals where he saved Mapua in the face of danger, with their main man Clint sidelined.
That included a 22-point, five-rebound outing in Game 2 to drag the LSGH Greenies to a do-or-die Game 3. Then, Dagger Dan proved his name true as he drained all of Mapua’s six points in the fourth quarter to help the Red Robins reclaim the title in the NCAA Juniors tourney.
Dan has proven that he could drain clutch shots and be the hero that the Red Robins needed. He proved that given the opportunity, he could be the next man up for the Red Robins.
The SLAM Rising Stars Classic will be held on March 31, 7PM to 9PM, at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. The game will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports via livestream.