Tyrus Hill taking his time to blossom to a star
PASSI CITY, ILOILO—For someone known for his explosiveness and sheer athleticism, Tyrus Hill’s pro career has rather been uneventful.
Selected seventh overall in the last Rookie Draft, Hill has spent most of his freshman year riding the bench. He had some minutes at Converge under Jeff Cariaso, but he would’ve still been seldom used if not for injuries hounding his current team Blackwater where he has been called to step in.
All that changed—albeit temporarily on Friday—when he took the floor at City of Passi Arena for the 2023 PBA All-Star Weekend’s Slam Dunk Competition where he had centerstage along with four others.
Hill finished with a score of 91 for second in the event that also featured Phoenix’s Chris Lalata, Encho Serrano, NLEX’s Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and former FiberXers teammate David Murrell, who went on to rule the sidelight with a 92.
Hill tried to go for an elbow hang in his first try in the dunk-off finalé, but settled for an earlier try that the judges awarded with 41.
He then brought out Ginebra star Jamie Malonzo—who would have been the event favorite if not for a knee injury—as a hurdle for a tomahawk slam that wowed the crowd here for a perfect 50 that ended his night.
“Whatever goes, goes, man,” he told the Inquirer. “But at the same time, I think I’m a great player. I’ve proven it in my time at Converge with coach Jeff and now at Blackwater with coach AV (Ariel Vanguardia),” he told the Inquirer.
Hill said that he sees being traded to his third club only in his first year as kind of a blessing.
“At Converge, I wasn’t having the showcase that I wanted. So coming to Blackwater really gave me an opportunity to show what I got and what I could bring to a team,” he said. “I know it’s just a matter of time, and I’ve got plenty of time.”