MANILA, Philippines – Patience pays off, and it certainly did for Blackwater's Chris Javier.
Barely used last season, Javier has turned out to be one of the team's reliable big men as he helped the Elite thwart Rain or Shine, 111-99, on Wednesday, January 30, for their first win in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
The former UE Red Warrior came off the bench and contributed 16 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists in 30 minutes of action.
To Javier, he was just repaying the trust – and patience – given by Blackwater head coach Bong Ramos.
"Thankful naman ako kahit 'di ako perfect, 'yung mga lapses ko kino-correct niya lagi. Tsaka 'di siya nagsasawa kahit sa ibang players," he said.
(I'm thankful to him because even if I'm not perfect, he just corrects my lapses. He never gives up on his players.)
"Actually pantay pantay sa lahat sa amin. Lagi niya kami pinapagalitan pero like what he's always saying walang personalan, trabaho lang kasi everybody wants to win."
(He doesn't give up on all of us. He may scold us but like he always say, nothing is personal, it's just all business because everybody wants to win.)
To give context to Javier's expanded role for the Elite, he has already matched his 35-point output last year in just 3 games this season.
He is averaging 11.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists this conference, a far cry from his norms of 1.9 points and 1.0 rebound last year.
And with the way he is playing, of course, the 26-year-old wants to keep on showcasing his wares.
"Strike while the iron is hot. I want more," Javier said.
"Siyempre, lalo mong minamahal 'yung basketball pagka ganoon. Tsaka since high school, ito na 'yung pangarap namin eh. I just have to work hard."
(When you're playing like this, that's when you feel you love the sport more. Since high school, this has already been our dream. I just have to work hard.)
Blackwater would need to Javier to continue his impressive showing as it guns for a second straight win against unbeaten Phoenix on Friday, February 1, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.