Gary David gets his shot at glory | Inquirer Sports

Gary David gets his shot at glory

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 03:37 AM December 26, 2011

PBA IMAGE/ Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines – Eight years after his pro career started, Gary David finally felt what it is like to be in heaven.

And starting Jan. 4, the former Lyceum standout will be working to again get there and etch his name in the annals of the Philippine Basketball Association as a champion.

Picked 10th overall by the old Coca-Cola franchise in the 2004 Draft, David has blossomed into a star in the pro league—but not one regarded by what most players work to be: a winner.

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After that scorching shooting display in the deciding match of Powerade’s quarterfinal series with top-ranked B-Meg last week, David has finally arrived and is now legitimately considered to be a superstar in the league.

David scored 16 straight points in a four-minute span bridging the fourth period and extension, almost single-handedly beating the star-studded Llamados and taking the Tigers this deep in the playoffs for the first time since the 2004 Fiesta Conference.

No doubt that the Tigers and their rivals in the best-of-seven series, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, don’t have the players that command enormous following.

But there is no doubt, also, that Powerade and Rain or Shine will be able to produce new heroes once their series starts, with both squads loaded with talents waiting to shine and both franchises hungry to win a championship.

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That Coca-Cola team that drafted David had won a championship already, and the franchise, after being sold to a multinational corporation, has struggled in its existence since then.

There was even talk a couple of years back that the American owners of the team were willing to disband the squad altogether if the fortunes of the Tigers don’t change.

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“We’re happy to be in the quarterfinals… but now we deserve to be in the semis,” said a highly-emotional JB Baylon, the Powerade representative to the board, after the spectacular win.

Rain or Shine has super rookie Paul Lee and former Rookie of the Year Gabe Norwood to lean on, plus two under-rated wingmen in Jeff Chan and Ryan Araña who are both—also—ready to answer calls to superstardom.

If Lee, Norwood and the lefties Arana and Chan consistently play well, then it is safe to say that the Painters have the edge.

David will get help from backcourt mates JV Casio and Marcio Lassiter, two highly-regarded rookies who have so far justified their high selections in the Draft.

And lost in all of the hype regarding the backcourt of both squads is their respective front court rotations, a much-maligned group of players who have not actually merited second looks from the other teams until both made the Final Four.

Powerade has Doug Kramer manning the slot, with the 6-foot-5 former Ateneo ace enjoying a rejuvenation of sorts after not finding a home in his early years in the league.

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Kramer has become a solid offensive presence for the Tigers by consistently making the best of the opportunities that come his way.

TAGS: Basketball, Coca Cola, Gabe Norwood, Gary David, JB Baylon, Lyceum, PBA, Powerade Tigers, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Sports

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