PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rookie Enoch Valdez proving Frankie Lim, NLEX right with consistent play

Delfin Dioquino

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Rookie Enoch Valdez proving Frankie Lim, NLEX right with consistent play

REBOUND. Enoch Valdez in action for the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Enoch Valdez plays the finest game of his young PBA career as he helps NLEX remain in control of its playoff fate in the Commissioner's Cup

MANILA, Philippines – NLEX head coach Frankie Lim knew from the start that Enoch Valdez is his man.

And the rookie guard out of Lyceum did not disappoint as he helped the Road Warriors remain in control of their playoff fate in the Commissioner’s Cup, starring in a 107-103 victory over Converge on Wednesday, January 10.

Selected 18th overall by NLEX in the previous draft, Valdez played the finest game of his young PBA career and finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds in the win that hiked the Road Warriors’ record to 4-6.

“Even before the draft, when I saw him practice with our team, I was already telling my coaches, I’m going to pick this guy. If he lands with us, I’m going to get him for sure,” said Lim.

“I like the way he plays – very aggressive, he defends well, he can shoot threes, and you can count on him to make layups in transition.”

Turning into a consistent double-digit scorer as he averaged 12.5 points in the last two games, Valdez has earned the trust of Lim and his coaching staff, as proven by the 35 minutes he logged against the FiberXers.

Valdez repaid that belief by hitting big shots down the stretch, scattering 10 points in the fourth quarter alone, including a pair of timely triples.

He made 4 of his 6 three-point attempts, a welcome improvement from his combined 2-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in his last two outings.

“I work on the things I need to improve on every day. I do whatever coach Frankie and the coaches need me to do,” said Valdez.

Lim is a witness to how Valdez badly wants to raise his game to another level.

“He is very aggressive and hardworking in practice. He comes in early, takes some shots, gets out of the gym late. He is doing extra work and it is paying off,” said Lim.

NLEX needs Valdez to continue his stellar play as it battles Barangay Ginebra in Albay on Saturday, January 13, with its quarterfinal hopes on the line. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

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.