With PBA dream in mind, Cahilig pounces on chance with Cignal
Coach Boyet Fernandez has always been vocal about his aim of improving San Beda’s camaraderie through Cignal’s stint in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
But what he didn’t expect was him stumbling on some diamonds in the rough, notably Fil-Swede forward Andreas Cahilig.
“He really stepped up and he tried to improve his game. I’m happy that he’s playing right now,” said Fernandez of the 6-foot-5 stretch four.
For Cahilig, this stint gives him a shot at realizing a long-awaited dream for his clan, who hopes to see him one day to see action in the PBA.
“It has been my family and relatives’ dream. I wasn’t sure of doing it in the beginning, but now that I had to decide if I need to stay in Sweden and work or if I want go here and play, I knew I had to prove myself,” he said.
Cahilig has done a stellar job for Cignal, emerging as one of the cornerstones in its seven-game winning streak that puts a win away from clinching an outright semifinals berth.
Over the past two games, the former Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology standout has made a great account of himself, averaging 12.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in his 12.0 minutes on the floor for the loaded Hawkeyes crew.
In Cignal’s 94-50 hammering of JRU on Thursday, Cahilig made the most of his minutes anew, tallying 11 points, four rebounds, and an assist in his 11 minutes of play.
His recent string of performance just affirms Fernandez’ initial thoughts when Cahilig first showed up in Cignal’s practice sessions.
“He came in not really in shape when he tried out with us. And the first thing he did was when he got the ball on the break, he dunked on one of my players. When he dunked, I thought he just had to get in shape,” he said.
A recent injury bug gave Cahilig a chance to crack the team’s rotation and strut his stuff in the hardcourt, much to the delight of Fernandez.
“There was an opportunity for him to come to the lineup due to some injuries and it’s a happy problem for me now on who makes it to the lineup for the playoffs,” the six-time PBA D-League champion mentor said.
Cahilig is taking the experience in stride as he eyes to fit further in the stacked Hawkeyes team.
“Everyone in our team is so good. We really have a hard competition, but it doesn’t matter who plays or not because everyone’s delivering,” he said.
Though Cahilig knows that his road to the PBA is still a long way to go, he’s willing do the work to make his family’s dream a reality. And it all starts with Cignal, where he hopes to be a vital contributor in the team’s championship aspirations.
“I want to be more consistent. Right now, I’ve been shooting really good from the three-point line, but it hasn’t always been that so I need to keep it up. I need to be stronger. Though I’m taller than other players, I feel some shorter guys are stronger than me so I think I need to gain more muscles,” he said. “Then again, I know I have to be patient.”