No trust issues.
College of St. Benilde Charles Tiu let his wards regroup and think what's best for them during the fourth quarter against a gritty San Beda side on Sunday, Oct. 9 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Then came Miguel Oczon, who spelled all the difference the Blazers needed midway through the payoff period as he caught fire from beyond the arc to help CSB pull away with a 78-69 win against the Red Lions.
Oczon bucked his slow start and waxed hot in the final quarter, dropping 11 of his 19 points in that period highlighted by three triples.
The 21-year-old fiery shooting guard, who finished on a 7-of-13 shooting built on a total of five three-pointers, also hit the dagger trey with a minute remaining as the Blazers came away with a 7-1 record.
For Oczon, it's all about the trust and finding ways to repay it as much as possible. After all, Tiu has given him permission to shoot whenever he's open from his own range.
When the Blazers couldn't stop the deadly combo of James Kwekuteye, who had a career-high game of 28 points, and JB Bahio, Oczon stepped up big time. He simply "shoot his shot" until he found that rhythm.
"Medyo nagiging flat 'yong fourth quarter namin and feel ko kailangan naming maka-score. May chance naman ako itira 'yong bola so tinake ko na 'yong chance. Naging confident ako sa shot ko," said Oczon. "Trumabaho naman ako sa ensayo namin, sa offseason, and nag-payoff naman."
Oczon also expressed gratitude to Tiu, for entrusting him as the go-to guy at least against San Beda's game. If anything, that level of trust is something that has always been there between Tiu and Oczon.
"Alam niya talaga 'yong laro ko -- to shoot. I know malaki tiwala niya sa akin in terms of shooting the ball and I'm trying to repay him naman sa trust na binigya niya sa akin," he added.
The Davao City native gunslinger likewise took the time to thank his teammates for the unending support and reminders every time they had to huddle on the bench.
Oczon admitted that he was struggling with a slow start but after coming alive in the fourth quarter, especially after his three-pointer at the 4:23 mark, everything seemed to change for the Blazers.
"My teammates, coaches kept reminding me na, 'Papasok din 'yan. Just keep on shooting.' 'Yon 'yong nag-encourage din sakin. So sige lang, papasok din 'yon, tumira lang nang tumira lang nang tumira," he added.
Tiu, for his part. has nothing but praise for his shooting guard who he regarded as the "hardest worker."
"He (Oczon) knows he has the green light to basically shoot whenever he wants. He's our hardest worker in the team by far. Very quiet, he just puts in the work, doesn't say much and it's nice to see him hit his threes," added the Blazers tactician.
"He struggled shooting at the start of the season but I felt he was helping us in different ways and today he just bailed us out with incredibly tough shots. They were really contested. The basketball gods favored us today, I guess."