PBA: With pressure off, Joshua Munzon delivering more on offense | Inquirer Sports

PBA: With pressure off, Joshua Munzon delivering more on offense

/ 09:03 PM January 05, 2024

Northport Batang Pier's Joshua Munzon in a PBA Commissioner's Cup game. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Northport Batang Pier’s Joshua Munzon in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup game. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Joshua Munzon heated up at the right time for Northport to fuel the Batang Pier to the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Munzon top scored for coach Bonnie Tan with an all-around game of 20 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block to help the squad clinch a tournament quarterfinals spot with a 106-89 win over Blackwater.

But Munzon isn’t usually the leading scorer for the Batang Pier, having built his image as someone who prioritizes the intangibles instead of going all out on scoring.

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His lack of scoring production in his early years in the PBA, Tan believes, was from pressure of delivering as a first round pick.

“In his first year, I think he was pressured to perform as a first overall pick. Those expectations triggered his below par performances so we talked before this conference to take some pressure off,” said the top coach.

“I told him to start playing good defense and he’ll be getting more well-deserved minutes… He got converted from an offensive to a defensive player.”

Munzon was the top overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft, selected by the Terrafirma Dyip.

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His talents, however, didn’t materialize much for coach Johnedel Cardel, which prompted a trade that sent him to the Batang Pier.

Northport coach Bonnie Tan

Northport coach Bonnie Tan. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Now, under the tutelage of former Letran tactician Tan, Munzon feels grateful to receive the trust and belief of the veteran coach.

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“It feels good to know that he just believes in me. He knows that if I play defense, offense will follow. He just gives me my confidence to go out there and play my game,” said the lanky guard.

“He still wants me to play aggressively on offense, so it feels good that he has that confidence in me and I’ve been able to show him that I’m worth the minutes of being out there,” he added.

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TAGS: Bonnie Tan, Joshua Munzon, Northport Batang Pier, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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