MANILA, Philippines – Compared to his fellow rookies, Kevin Ferrer had a quiet debut in the PBA, scoring only three points to go along with three rebounds in 11 minutes during Ginebra's 103-108 loss to TNT KaTropa last Sunday.
While TNT rookie Roger Pogoy was playing crunch-time minutes and making crucial defensive plays, Ferrer was glued to the bench as coach Tim Cone opted to go with a more battle-tested line-up to end the game.
"Siyempre, challenge din sa akin kung paano bumawi," said Ferrer after their defeat. "At saka 'di ko muna tinitingnan 'yung points."
"Kailangan ko muna dumepensa, kasi marami ng scorer sa amin. Opportunity na lang 'yung pag-score ko," he added.
To get that opportunity, however, Ferrer first has to play more minutes, and that entails earning the trust of Cone. The 19-time champion coach has previously said that Ferrer will have to work for his playing time, the same way that celebrated guard Scottie Thompson did in his rookie season last year.
"Siyempre, as a rookie, 'di naman madaling makuha 'yung loob ni Coach Tim," Ferrer acknowledged. "So kailangan ko pang pag-trabahuhan 'yung playing time ko, at 'yung trust ni Coach Tim sa akin."
"Kailangan ko mag-extra work sa training," he said.
Ginebra selected Ferrer in the special draft for Gilas cadet players, a move that proved controversial for the team's legion of fans, many of whom wanted the Gin Kings to take Jiovani Jalalon.
Cone repeatedly explained that he is unsure if Ginebra ever had the chance to select Jalalon, while at the same time defending Ferrer. In an interview with Hardball before the start of the season, Cone called Ferrer "the real deal" and gushed about his basketball IQ.
But in a loaded Ginebra line-up, however, it appears the talented former King Tiger still has plenty of work to do to prove himself.
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