MANILA, Philippines — Ronald Tubid finished 3-of-8 from the field for seven points in Petron’s ugly 60-53 win over Air21 on Friday.
But that’s not what Tubid is going to be remembered about that night.
With less than a minute left and the Boosters up 59-53, John Wilson got the leather on the open court and had the chance to bring the lead down for the Express.
Tubid still sprinted down to the other end just to put a body on Wilson, who ultimately missed that lay-up.
“It was a big defensive play on his part,” said head coach Olsen Racela. “He stepped up for us defensively. We asked him to defend KG (Cañaleta) and he did a good job.”
Cañaleta, capable of going off anytime, missed all but two of his 11 attempts from downtown, and just finished with eight points.
“He was one guy who stepped up for us defensively,” added Racela. “He almost played without relief in the fourth quarter but that’s what Ronald gives you. He never gives up.”
And that’s how Tubid wants to be remembered as: an elite defender.
“Yun yung purpose nila para kunin ako, to play defense. Yun talaga first [priority] ko sa Petron,” Tubid told INQUIRER.net after the game.
Tubid knows it takes more than just the often-heralded scoring abilities to get into the PBA, let alone keep a successful career in the league.
“[Ang alam ko] sa PBA, maraming scorer eh. Andyan na sila, yung defender ang medyo wala. Dun tayo sa ‘blue collar job (In the PBA, there are a lot of scorers, but few defenders),” said Tubid.
“Ako talaga, I’m proud to say na defense ang nagpa-PBA sakin,” he added.
The energetic forward, though, still wants to be that guy who one would be stupid to leave wide open.
“Sabi nila [sa team], pag open ka, tira. Kanina tumira ako, pero di pa nataon at di pa swerte eh,” said a blushing Tubid. “Time will come, sana bumailk na shooting ko.”
But trust him to be there to still come up with the defensive stops, even if Petron is out of harm’s way.
“Di naman kasi ako tumitingin sa score. Kaya hinabol ko pa rin si Wilson,” Tubid said.