D-League: Jackson, Coffee Lovers use underdog tag as motivation
Trevis Jackson knows the reality of playing for an unheralded team like Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare.
“We understand at times that we’re underdogs,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean the Fil-Am guard is ready to accept how opponents look down at them as he uses those criticisms as fuel to help the Coffee Lovers compete in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
“We use that as an advantage. We don’t mind coming in as underdogs because that just means that when we’re ultra-aggressive, we have a chance to catch you off-guard. We play the game how we need to play. Coach gives us our gameplan and we go out there and execute,” he said.
Through the past three games, Jackson has established himself as the go-to-guy for Gamboa-St. Clare, averaging 19.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
He continued that tear on Thursday, firing 29 points for the Coffee Lovers’ 92-85 defeat to Akari-Adamson.
Though his efforts failed to keep his side’s two-game winning streak alive, it was enough to pique the interest of Falcons coach Franz Pumaren.
“I don’t think we faced St. Clare. Our opponent was Jackson,” the bench tactician said. “The way he played, he played like a veteran. I think he’s PBA-ready. He’s matured enough compared to our players.”
The 22-year-old Jackson, meanwhile, is just humbled by the praise from a coach in the caliber of Pumaren. “That’s probably one of the biggest compliments I’ve gotten since being here.”
“My whole dream and what gets me to wake up every morning is because I came here with aspirations of playing in the PBA,” said the Sacramento State alumnus. “Now, I just need to show them that I might not played a lot back home but I can play. I just need to prove that, and that’s why I’m taking these games as an opportunity to do it.”
Though Jackson has his sights set on entering the 2018 PBA Draft, he knows that he has to keep his focus on the task at hand which is to help Gamboa-St. Clare compete and gain the respect of its opponents.
“I’m very proud of my team. I’m just proud that we keep fighting. The most important thing is we don’t quit. It’s all that matters. If you don’t quit, you always have a chance. And that’s what I like about this team,” he said.