After jittery start, Jose finds bearing for Blackwater
Raymar Jose was truly feeling the nerves in his first PBA game on Friday that it even showed on his game, hilariously air-balling his free throw midway in the second quarter.
“I was excited,” he said in Filipino as he tried to hide his embarrassment from his gaffe. “This is my first game and I’m surprised that happened.”
Luckily, that wasn’t the case in his second freebie–which he swosshed–and for for his next shots, giving him the confidence he needed to deliver for Blackwater.
The third overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft lived up to his billing as he paced the Elite with 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists in his pro debut.
Unfortunately, that smashing first game went for naught as Blackwater fell to Meralco, 103-98, at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
Jose, however, isn’t dwelling much on the loss and shared his optimism when talking about the youthful Elite frontline of him, Mac Belo, and JP Erram forming an intriguing three-man combo in the paint.
But he admits that there’s still a lot of ground for the newly-formed trio to cover, saying, “Hopefully, we can improve ourselves as a team and we continue working hard.”
“What we did wasn’t enough and we haven’t proven anything yet. We still need to be one and we can still develop a lot of things as a unit.”
Erram notched a double-double in the season opener with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, while Belo collected 13 markers, a rebound, and an assist in the game.
Jose is unfazed by his new team’s bad start in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup as he keeps a positive vibe and looked at the good things Blackwater did in the game.
“The mindset is the same: when coach puts me in, I’m always ready to do what he asks me to do and to execute our plays. I admit that I was excited and I’m still adjusting, but hopefully next game, I’m already okay,” he said.