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LAST BIG MAN STANDING | Ayo praises Game 3 hero Sollano for season-long effort

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Letran's graduating aces Kevin Racal and eventual Finals MVP Mark Cruz may have been credited for most of the team's damages in its successful NCAA title conquest.

But on Thursday in the deciding game of the what had been an intense championship conquest, an unlikely hero emerged.

Jom Sollano made up for his lack of ceiling by showing grit in Game 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena, nailing 9-of-12 field goals including the eventual game-winner with 32.3 seconds left for 19 points.

Coach Aldin Ayo uttered nothing but raves on the contribution all season long by the 6-4 center, who had to take on Ola Adeogun and Donald Tankoua the entire three-game series.

"Malaking bagay talaga para sa amin si Jom, not just tonight but throughout the season. Siya yung last big man standing namin," the rookie coach said about the former USPF Panther.

Ayo, who once played hero for the Knights as a player during their 1999 championship, looked back at the tall order Sollano had to successfully overcome.

The mentor continued, "From [Allwell] Oraeme going to Ola going to Tankoua and before that, yung [si Bright] Akhuetie tapos yung [si Prince] Eze, si Jom ang nagtrabaho nun. Wala akong masabi doon."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno