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Valdez holds head high with memorable NCAA swan song despite Lyceum loss

MANILA, Philippines -- In what turned out to be his last collegiate game, Lyceum's Enoch Valdez surely left it all on the court on Friday.

Valdez ended their do-or-die NCAA Season 99 semis match against San Beda Red with 28 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a swatting a shot once for the Pirates.

All that while defending Red Lion Jacob Cortez, who scored 28 points in Game 1.

While Valdez exploded his way to a season-high scoring and limited Cortez to just seven points, Lyceum bowed out of the tournament, 82-72.

While they were eliminated after blowing a twice-to-beat advantage, Valdez said he does not regret anything.

"I already played [Cortez] box-and-one. He just ended with seven points, and I stopped him. I even finished with 28 points, and I guarded the start player of the opponent. They still won?" Valdez told reporters in Filipino after the game.

Box-and-one is a defensive strategy that denies the ball to the main gun of the other team.

"What else can I do? I am not regretting anything. I did my job to defend their start player. I did my part and scored 28 points. What more can I do?" he added, laughing.

Valdez scored 22 points in the first half, but was limited to just six in the second half.

In Game 1, he only had 14 points in an 89-68 blowout.

"I do not have any regrets, pare. I really did everything I could," the athletic forward said.

For now, Valdez will be moving his focus to the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA, which drafted him in the second round of this year’s rookie draft.

He will be meeting with the NLEX front office on Saturday.

Valdez will also not play against the Benilde Blazers in the battle for third set on December 10, to give way to the other players.

"I will bring the experience [to the PBA] as well as the heart I am giving to the game. Whatever happens, I will be giving my best," he said.