MANILA, Philippines — Perhaps no one expected that Barako Bull point guard Emman Monfort, the fourth shortest player in PBA history, would stand the tallest Sunday.
Not even the five-foot-six Monfort himself, whose dream was simply just to be able to play in the PBA.
“Masaya na ako na yung nasa PBA na ako. Dream ko lang talaga makalaro sa PBA, makatapak lang ako sa court,” said Monfort, who was selected by the Energy Cola as the 16th pick in the 2012 PBA Draft, after breaking out with a career-best 22-point, seven-rebound outing to lead Barako Bull to a 90-89 win over Meralco.
“Overwhelming. Hindi ko pa ma-explain ngayon kung anong nangyari sa game. Maraming salamat sa teammates ko [because] they set me up, Dorian Peña, Mick Pennisi, Danny Seigle ang ganda ng mga screens nila so I was open and sabi ng mga teammates ko just take the shot,” said Monfort, probably a player still unheard of by the league’s followers but is well-known in college basketball as one of the key cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP.
Monfort refused to take credit for his sterling performance which was highlighted by 17 second-half points including a clutch jumper from the right elbow down the stretch.
“Iniisip ko lang kung paano matutulungan mga teammates ko.”
He also refused to give up and get discouraged despite dealing with injuries to start his professional career.
“Start of the first conference, I fractured my hand, so I was out four to six months. Start of the second conference, na-refracture ulit. So fifth to the last game na lang ako nakalaro last conference,” Monfort said.
“Malaki paniniwala ko sa Diyos. I know everything happens for a reason. I fractured my hand I didn’t stop, I refractured my hand I didn’t stop. I said na binigyan talaga ako ng Diyos ng pagkakataon and I think this is it.”