MANILA, Philippines – Former Ateneo de Manila University guard Von Pessumal made his name as a three-point shooter, but he wants to prove that he can be a two-way player once he gets to the PBA – no matter how much work it takes.
Pessumal is part of the special draft for members of the Gilas Cadet pool, and as of Friday, he has yet to see his name included in the reports going around regarding the early selections made by PBA teams.
PBA board members made their Gilas draft selections on Thursday, with Far Eastern University star Mac Belo set to go to Blackwater. Other players, including Jiovani Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, and Arnold Van Opstal, have reported been selected as well, though nothing will be made official until Sunday afternoon's draft.
Pessumal was one of the few who has yet to be linked to a team, though he is not too worried.
"I'm nervous, of course, because I wish I know where I'm headed," he said last Friday during the SLAM Draft Suite at Resorts World. "But for me, it doesn't really matter, because I'm going to a team, and that team will see how I work, and what my attitude is."
Pessumal further pointed out that teams already know his strengths – that is, his three-point shooting. In five seasons with the Blue Eagles, Pessumal converted 32.5% of his shots from beyond the arc. He showed off his range in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, when he exploded for 30 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the three-point area in a 105-119 loss to Jordan.
However, Pessumal is not satisfied with simply being a "one-dimensional spot-up shooter," in his own words. "Who wants to be known as that?" he said.
"I'm trying to transition to be a combo guard," he explained. "I'm trying to be more versatile on offense, and I want to be really reliable on the defensive end, trying to guard multiple positions."
"I want to make sure I'm a two-way player," he stressed. "I think that's really my main goal, and I know that it might take a while, but I'm willing to put in the work."
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