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MANILA, Philippines – A quiet PBA debut for top draftee Christian David does not concern Blackwater head coach Jeff Cariaso.
Cariaso said David will eventually hit his stride after the second overall pick in the last draft scored just 3 points in over 21 minutes of action in a 103-84 rout of Converge in the Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday, November 8.
Although David also finished with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block, he struggled from the field as he made just one of his six shots and went 1-of-3 at the free throw line.
The Filipino-Canadian forward failed to score in the first three quarters of the wire-to-wire win before he got himself on the scoreboard off a foul shot with seven minutes left.
“I think today, you can see the jitters, no? I think once he gets used to the style of play here in the PBA, he gets more comfortable, he’s going to be able to showcase what he does best,” said Cariaso.
“But again, right now, no one is expecting anything but for him to be himself.”
David, 25, played five seasons for the Butler University Bulldogs in the US NCAA before he turned professional.
Although a knee injury kept him from suiting up for the Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Korean Basketball League, David still landed at second with the Bossing, who selected him just after top pick Stephen Holt (Terrafirma).
David got picked ahead of big men Luis Villegas and Keith Datu (Rain or Shine) and athletic forward Zavier Lucero (NorthPort) in what is considered one of the deepest draft classes in recent years.
Lofty expectations come with being a top two selection, but Cariaso is taking a patient approach with the development of the 6-foot-6 David.
“I have to do a better job in making sure that we put him in a better position so he can play within the skill set that he has. But right now, we expect the rookie jitters the first few games,” said Cariaso.
“I’m absolutely not worried. He’ll be okay.” – Rappler.com