Cuajao Delivers in Anticipated NCAA Debut

By: Aulyn Gwen Bergado
September 25, 2023

Deo Cuajao, the newest Letran Knight makes waves as he enters the NCAA scene. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Nollora Jr. of The LANCE.

Deo Cuajao has finally stepped foot in the NCAA scene and has served it in a remarkable way. 

With just 3.2 ticks remaining on the clock, the 6-foot-1 cager canned an ice-cold triple which sent the Letran- JRU game into overtime. 

“Naging ready lang ako sa kumpyansa na binibigay ni coach [Rensy Bajar] sakin,” said the NCAA neophyte.

“Di masyado maganda yung pinakita ni Reyson, so yun, kailangan ko mag-step up para sa team para ma [backup] yung trabaho ni Reyson.” he added. 

He uncorked 12 points, three boards and two assists in their 79-85 loss. 

“Siyempre, Deo is part of the rotation, so kumbaga, kulang pa nga eh. Andun pa yung mga hesitation niya eh, which is yun yung kailangan kong i-address sa kanya, yung mawala yung hesitation.” Letran head coach Rensy Bajar said about Cuajao. 

The North Cotabato native played for UST and La Salle in the UAAP and transferred to Letran last year in which he will be playing for three seasons. 

Joining Cuajao as NCAA newcomers were Ira Bataller, James Jumao-as, Ken Brillantes, Stephen Garupil, Diego Morales, Paolo Galvez, Nicko Fajardo and Wilson Tilos. 

On the other hand, Bajar bared that their 29 turnovers played a huge deal on their opening match upset alongside their captain Kurt Reyson’s lousy performance throughout. 

“We had 29 turnovers na nakaapekto samin. On the defensive end, na-sustain namin yung dapat naming isustain. Yun nga lang, in the end, dun lang kami nag-fall short, because of our turnovers.” the head tactician uttered. 

“Medyo hindi kasi makuha ni Kurt yung timing niya, at the same time, maganda yung nilalaro ni Deo. Halos yung concentration kasi ng defense nakay Kurt. Sa seven turnovers niya halos dun rin nanggaling. Pag yung nasa loob siya dun nagcoconcentrate yung defense.” Bajar ended. 

The Knights are expected to redeem themselves as they face Lyceum Pirates on September 27 at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.