MANILA, Philippines – Nico Elorde has transformed into GlobalPort’s starting point guard following Terrence Romeo’s trade to the TNT KaTropa and on Wednesday, June 13, he made sure to repay Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio’s trust.
The 5-foot-10 guard, often the smallest guy on the floor, stood tall down the stretch as he knocked down a huge triple that largely factored in GlobalPort’s come-from-behind 98-94 win over the San Miguel Beermen.
With the game tied at 92-all, Elorde, off a Stanley Pringle kickout pass, drilled in a trey with 48 seconds left in the clock that gave the Batang Pier their first lead since the first quarter.
Elorde then split his free throws for a 98-94 GlobalPort advantage with 9 seconds remaining and slammed the door shut on any Beermen comeback.
Scoreless in the first 3 quarters, Elorde finished with an all-around effort of 6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and a plus-minus of +10, the 3rd highest in the team, in nearly 32 minutes of play.
“Siguro sobrang tiwala lang si coach Pido, nagpapasalamat ako doon. Kasi buong game, medyo struggle ako, ‘di ko makuha timing eh. Pero nandoon pa rin ako sa loob, so kailangan ready lang. ‘Yun, dumating yung chance,” said Elorde.
(I am grateful for coach Pido’s immense trust. For most of the game, I was struggling and I had a hard time finding my timing but I was in the court playing. I just needed to be ready and fortunately, my chance came.)
Jarencio heaped praises on the 26-year-old, especially since he prevented the Batang Pier, who improved to 4-4, from crashing to their 3rd straight loss that would have put them in a tough position in the playoff race.
“‘Di maganda laro niya (Elorde) the whole game pero he hit that big 3-point shot. Grabe. Game changer,” the firebrand tactician said.
(He was not playing well the whole game but he hit that big 3-point shot. It was a game changer.)
“Thank you kahit paano ‘yung tiwala mo sa bata hindi naman niya pinabayaan. Nagde-deliver.”
(I am grateful because at least, he repays the trust I have in him. He delivers.)
The Batang Pier eye to make it two wins in a row against the reeling Phoenix Fuel Masters next Wednesday, June 20, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com