Import Mason 'honored' to play for Ginebra
MANILA – Ginebra import Zaccheus Mason said he is honored to play for the crowd favorite Kings and is doing his best to help the team despite being the youngest among the imports in the PBA Governors Cup.
The 23-year-old Mason has been giving Ginebra solid performances so far, including a 32-point, 19-rebound outing against Meralco to power the Gin Kings to a 95-82 win – and a 2-0 start to the conference.
"It's good to play for Ginebra, for they have the biggest fan base and they come out and support us," Mason said in a PBA.ph report. "It makes the organization want to come out and win for our fans."
"It's an honor to play for a team with such prestige, and I'm just enjoying it, continue to get better every day," he added.
Mason is not only the youngest import – he's also the youngest player in Ginebra, and is looking to his veteran teammates for guidance and support.
"I just take it day-by-day and continue to get better with my teammates, and take it game-by-game," he said. "A lot of these guys have experience, and it's still tough for me to adjust, but my teammates are behind me so I just try to go out there and enjoy playing basketball."
Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso has heaped praises upon Mason, and is hopeful that the young import will only continue to get better as the conference goes on.
"I think what's nice about him is that he's very mature at a very young age, and I'm happy with his performance," said Cariaso, who took over the Ginebra coaching position before the start of the Governors Cup.
"I think, even if he's a fresh grad, he has played against really good players before. I think once he gets more comfortable with his role and his teammates, then he can easily play his game," Cariaso added.
"And his game is what we want. That's doing the little things – rebounding, scoring when he has the opportunities."
Mason has clearly bought into Cariaso’s pitch, even as he – like many of his teammates – are still learning the details of the triangle offense that the coach has installed in the Ginebra playbook.
"This is not about individual performances," Mason said. "It's about us, as a team, being able to execute the offense, getting stops."
"It's what coach preaches to us about – the small things," he stressed.
Ginebra tries for a third consecutive victory against the also-unbeaten Air21 Express on Tuesday.