MANILA, Philippines – Marikina City was in for a treat as their Shoemasters team slipped past the winless but unyielding Pasig Pirates, 71-67, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) at the Marist School Gym on Tuesday night, August 7.
Not only did the Shoemasters orchestrate a comeback win from 14 points down, 19-33, late in the second quarter, but they also treated their fans to the home debut of celebrity baller Gerald Anderson.
And boy, Marikina City was more than ready to welcome its main attraction.
Fair warning: turn your volume down.
Gerald Anderson making his home debut for the Marikina Shoemasters at the Marist School Gym! #MPBL @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/TTN6CARk8W — JR Isaga (@JRnalistic) August 7, 2018
A jittery Anderson had a pair of airballs to start the game, but quickly shifted his focus on the defensive end, clamping down on former PBA players like ex-Coca Cola rotation man Ronjay Enrile quite impressively.
He finally made his first MPBL point early in the second quarter via a free throw, 17-21, at the 7:22 mark after getting fouled on the drive. That would be his only mark for the night.
Gerald Anderson records his first MPBL point off a free-throw! @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/msNQC8Q0nC — JR Isaga (@JRnalistic) August 7, 2018
But as mentioned, Anderson’s game was all about defense. He checked in with 5 minutes left in the 3rd and helped turn a 41-41 deadlock to a 58-44 romp – a 17-3 run highlighted with two of his 3 steals.
Pasig made a 19-3 run of its own in the 4th, but terrible shot selection in the clutch drove the nails into their own coffin.
After the game, Anderson was overjoyed that he gave his team a huge lift to seal the victory.
“Ang importante yung panalo eh,” Anderson, who plays point guard, said post-game. “Ang importante panalo at ginawa ng lahat yung best nila para mag-contribute sa team. Kanina [nakagawa] ako ng konting stops so yun yung importante.”
(What’s important is the win and that everyone did their best to contribute to the team. I made some stops, so that’s what’s important.)
“Everybody had a good game at nag-enjoy yung home crowd na nagbigay kami ng panalo,” he continued.
(Everybody had a good game and the home crowd enjoyed that we gave them a win.)
Don’t be so quick to dismiss his offensive game though. He has a lot of offense going for him, too.
Clearly, Anderson is hungry for more.
“Abangan niyo yung next game (Wait for the next game),” he simply said.
Anderson is not the only actor in the huge MPBL roster as Xian Lim is also balling for the powerhouse Mandaluyong El Tigre.
Xian Lim enters the game for the MPBL's Mandaluyong El Tigre! He splits his free-throws for a huge 36-14 Manda lead. @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/t9s1pZY9dk — JR Isaga (@JRnalistic) July 5, 2018
Although Mandaluyong vs Marikina is not yet scheduled in the 11-month-long tournament, a Gerald Anderson vs Xian Lim matchup will certainly be a duel for the ages (and fangirl screams).
Maybe an appearance from Kim Chiu can also help. Maybe. – Rappler.com