McAloney on making game-winning freethrow: Teammates’ trust helped
Cebu City, Philippines—With the game tied and a free-throw coming up with the chance to put the Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol in front of the Iloilo United Royals with just 2.7 seconds remaining in their Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup game on Monday, July 15, 2019, William McAloney stepped to the line with butterflies in his stomach.
“I was very nervous because I missed my last three free throws. So I just looked at my teammates and I saw that they had the utmost trust in me. So I just really focused on the shot,” narrated the left-handed forward out of the University of San Carlos.
With steely nerves, McAloney made the free throw that proved to be the game-winning point in the Sharks’ nerve-wracking 69-68 victory that propped the team’s win-loss record to an even 3-3.
The game nearly ended in disaster for the Sharks, which led by eight, 61-53, late in the game but lost the lead, no-thanks to a flurry of points from Iloilo’s Samboy de Leon.
McAloney related that instead of panicking, they kept their cool, thanks to the encouragement of veteran sniper Patrick Jan Cabahug. “We didn’t mind that. Patrick just told us to not mind the score and keep on playing defense and to look for the advantage,” he said.
Fortunately for Cebu, they got a chance to win the game with a great defensive stop late with under a minute remaining. And with Cabahug double-teamed off a pick, McAloney was able to receive a pass and saw a clear path to the rack.
“I was really just looking to attack since we didn’t have a lot of time remaining. It was just fortunate that I got an and-one. But I was confident during that play.
The pick-and-roll is my bread and butter with Patrick,” shared McAloney who is averaging a double-double in the Lakan Cup, with 14 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The Sharks’ next game will be on July 22, 2019, 4 p.m. at the Pasig Sports Complex against another expansion team, the Mindoro Tamaraws. Cebu’s very first home game will be on August 10 at a yet-to-be-disclosed venue against the Muntinlupa Cagers. /bmjo
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