MANILA, Philippines – In a game where their main men disappointed, rookie Kevin Ferrer provided a bright spot for the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.
Ferrer had 19 points on six-of-14 shooting, and made five of his 11 attempts from beyond the arc to top-score for Ginebra in their 86-101 loss to the Alaska Aces in the 2016-17 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday.
He was perhaps the only member of Ginebra that Alex Compton failed to plan for, and the former University of Santo Tomas standout earned praise from the Alaska coach after his impressive performance.
"Can I compliment Kevin Ferrer for hitting like 38 threes today?" Compton said. "I don't know what he did, but we need another game plan for that."
Compton was impressed, but not surprised at Ferrer's explosion. After all, he had seen Ferrer as a high school player who participated in a National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) camp, and knew even then that the lanky swingman had a bright future.
"He is great. We watched him (as a high school player) in an Elite camp in the NBTC, and you just knew, when you watch him, that he's too long, with that shooting stroke, to not be a really good player," he said.
"I thought he was going to be a really good PBA player," he added.
Jokingly, Compton also said: "Now, I wish we hadn't trained him at all."
Ferrer, however, was not in a celebratory mood even after setting a career-high in the PBA. "'Di ko iniisip 'yun," he said. "Talo naman. Bale wala 'yun."
"'Yung performance ko ngayon, wala pa. Kailangan ko pa i-improve 'yung ibang bagay, 'yung shooting, medyo wala pa sa timing. Extra work pa," he added.
For now, Ferrer is simply grateful to get playing time and show off the skills and shooting touch that made him one of the best collegiate players in the country last year.
"Ginagawa ko lang 'yung best ko," he said. "Kung ipasok ako ni coach, masaya na ako."
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