Former USPF cager Ynot on block against Jalen Green: ‘I couldn’t believe I can do that’
Cebu City, Philippines — Most sports fans certainly saw on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, how highly touted Filipino-American Jalen Green slammed a vicious dunk over the defense of 7-foot-2 Kai Sotto during their Supreme 16 clash in the Chooks to Go/NBTC 2019 National Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But when the 6-foot-6 Green tried to replicate his sensational play during their Fantastic Eight match against the San Beda Red Cubs on Thursday evening, March 21, 2019, he got emphatically turned away.
The man responsible for it was former University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) cager Winston Ynot.
A recruit from Misamis Occidental, the 5-foot-11 Ynot suited up for the USPF Baby Panthers in 2017 and immediately made an impact as he was named an All Star.
“Ang sarap sa pakiramdam kasi 5’11” lang ako tapos yung na block ko 6’6. Hindi rin ako makapaniwala na kaya ko pala kahit maliit ako,” Ynot added.
(It felt so good because I am just 5’11” and I blocked someone who is 6’6”. I couldn’t believe I could actually do that even if I am small.)
When he was given the given the task of guarding Green by head coach Manu Inigo, Ynot relished the opportunity rather than cower away from it.
“Ang mindset ko lang is kahit malaki siya, kaya ko pa rin siyang bantayan kasi binigay ko naman yung best ko para team ko.”
(My mindset was that even if he was bigger, I can still guard him because I always give my best for the team.)
Fearless as his approach may be, Ynot remains in awe and still cannot believe he pulled off that spectacular play with 10 seconds remaining in the game that helped them nip Green’s FilAm Sports team, 97-91.
It has been a very fruitful week for the young cager as apart from San Beda making it deep into the tournament, he will also participate in this year’s All-Star Showcase.
Ynot said he had second thoughts about leaving Cebu and being so far away from home but Ynot shared that his mother pushed him to make the leap.
“Sabi nang mama ko punta daw ako sa San Beda kasi ang laki nang chance aaabot nang PBA. So ayun pumunta ako dito para sa kanila, para hindi na man mahirapan ang mama ko,” says Ynot, who, apart from the huge block, also compiled 16 points and four rebounds.
(My mom said to choose San Beda because it gives me a better chance to reach the PBA. So I went to San Beda for them, so that my mom won’t have a difficult time anymore.)
Even with his stock soaring on the national stage, Ynot has not forgotten about Cebu and the people that helped him get to where he is right now.
“Thank you kay coach to Albert (Alocillo) because if not for him, I wouldn’t be able to go to San Beda. Thank you also to coach Allan Cabatingan, Sir Brian (Jereza) and Coach Joph (Cleopas).” /bmjo
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