CHRIS Gavina seems to have a future in fortune-telling.
After all, the young Mahindra coach predicted that Philip Paniamogan would put up a breakout performance in the team’s first game of the New Year despite being a non-factor in their first win of the PBA season on Christmas Day.
Scoreless after missing his three shots in 10 minutes in the 97-93 overtime win over Blackwater on December 25, Paniamogan poured in 25 points built around seven triples in 20 minutes off the bench in the Floodbuster’s 105-02 win over Meralco on Wednesday.
“I really saw it coming from Christmas Day,” Gavina said. “Even during the break, he was one of those guys that were asking me to keep working.”
“He just does what you want him to do,” he added. “He's somebody who accepts his role and when he's called upon he's ready to excel now.”
Paniamogan definitely repaid Gavina’s faith as he heated up after going scoreless in the first quarter, ending up with a career-high output – 10 more than his previous best four games back.
“Sabi kasi ni coach sa'min, kung sino yung mainit sa 'min, suportahan namin,” Paniamogan said. “Kaya nung pagka-shoot ko nung last three points, sinunod-sunod ko na. Sabi nila tumira eh, so may lisensya na 'ko. Kaya ayun tinira ko naman, shumu-shoot."
The 25-year-old cager’s patience and hard work have been paying off since bouncing around between the PBA and the D-League after going undrafted in the 2014 Draft.
“Syempre ang hirap din lalo 'pag pabalik-balik ka sa PBA,” Paniamogan said. “Pero sabi ko, wala namang mawawala 'pag nagsikap eh. Kaya nung tinawagan ako, ayun binigay ko lahat ng best ko, kung ano maitutulong ko. Buti naman nagkaroon sila ng tiwala sa akin dahan-dahan.”