Tambeling regains confidence, hot hand to lead Tanduay
It has been four years since Von Tambeling last made waves in the amateur ranks.
Once an upstart guard for Letran under coach Caloy Garcia, Tambeling slowly faded into the shadows as he left the hollowed walls of Muralla and transferred to Philippine Christian University.
But slowly, the 6-foot guard has rebuilt his confidence, rekindling fire in him with his new school before getting his feet wet anew in the PBA D-League with Tanduay.
And on Thursday, Tambeling felt like a rock star once again, leading the Rhum Masters’ smashing 111-86 victory over Batangas to help his side inch closer to a playoffs spot in the 2017 Foundation Cup.
“I just focused on what coach has been telling me. He said he got me for my scoring and for my effort, so I had to do my part,” the 25-year-old said in Filipino, just minutes after pouring 28 points, five rebounds, and three steals in his best game to date with Tanduay.
Tambeling admitted that he couldn’t help but feel shy seeing the caliber of his teammates in the Rhum Masters camp. But all he needed was to heed coach Lawrence Chongson’s words and do his part in the team’s system.
“That was my thinking when I got here, that I’m with a lot of scorers. (Lester) Alvarez, (James) Martinez, (Jerwin) Gaco, every one can score here,” he said. “But coach told me that we can’t score if we can’t execute on defense, and once we show that effort, that’s the time when we can finally score.”
Luckily for Tambeling, Chongson has been generous in boosting his confidence as he finds his niche in the team’s flow.
“In our past games, I was struggling because I still didn’t have the confidence. But right now, I think that I’m getting in the same groove of my teammates and I can feel their trust on me,” he said.
Tambeling, though, acknowledged that he still has a lot to work on before he makes the jump to the pros, giving himself at least one more year in the amateur ranks as he expects to figure on a go-to guy role in PCU this coming NAASCU season and a vital cog for Tanduay in the future.
“I think I still need time. I feel I still lack parts on my game and I need to work on those. I still need to be confident and be consistent with my game,” he said.