MANILA, Philippines -- Lester Prosper gave himself a passing mark after a solid debut for Columbian Dyip in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday.
Prosper, 30, was brought in to replace Kyle Barone, who went 1-3 as Colymbian Dyip's import. Playing nearly 42 minutes against the Magnolia Hotshots, Prosper put up 26 points and 14 rebounds, going 11-of-20 from the field.
Unfortunately, he could not lead Columbian to a win: the Hotshots broke the game open in the third quarter for a 110-103 triumph.
"I did my job, I did what I had to do," Prosper said of his debut. "We gotta do a better job of communication and playing together, but my debut is cool, you know?"
"But I wanted the win, and obviously we didn't get that, so," he added.
Prosper tried to get the Dyip back in the game in the fourth quarter, converting the lay-up that made it an eight-point game, 106-98, with still 1:52 to go. They got a stop in Magnolia's next possession, but unfortunately for Prosper, he could not make a bucket after grabbing an offensive rebound in their next trip back.
They then gave up a wide-open bucket inside to Magnolia's Rome dela Rosa, giving the Hotshots a 10-point cushion, 108-08, with 66 seconds left.
"They're obviously a championship team, you know. They played together," Prosper said of Magnolia.
But the import, who played collegiate ball at State University of New York College at Old Westbury, believes the Dyip have a lot of potential as well.
"I love my team, I love my teammates. You know what I'm saying? We just gotta get better. You know? That's all it is. We just gotta continue to get better, that's all," said Prosper.
In that regard, he is ready to be of help to the franchise. After just one game with the Dyip, Prosper declared that he is "in this for the long run."
"I'm not here to just come for a day or two and leave. I understand it's a process; we gotta trust our process," he stressed.
"These are young guys, and I'm gonna help them develop. I gotta continue to do what I gotta do and develop also. And we have to continue to build chemistry also. I think it's gonna go well," he added.
Prosper will try to get his first win as an import when he and the Dyip take on league-leading TNT on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
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