Robby Celiz glad to repay Mac Cuan faith as career gets new lease on life at Alab
Robby Celiz has found his groove in his last two games for Alab Pilipinas. Photo from ABL

ROBBY Celiz has finally found his groove in the past few games for Alab Pilipinas, and he gives all credit to head coach Mac Cuan.

The 28-year-old Celiz said he is thankful to Cuan, who never lost confidence in him even though he was not playing well for Alab in the first half of the season.

“Every time talaga sa practice, pinupush niya ako. Gina-guide niya ako kung ano pa ang dapat kong iimprove. Malaking bagay talaga si coach,” said Celiz.

After struggling in his first few games, Celiz found his stroke last February 17 when he finished with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point land in Alab’s 87-79 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons.

Two days later, Celiz played his best game for Alab when he scored 23 points in a 79-77 road loss to Malaysia in Cyberjaya.

Celiz, however, was not satisfied following his scoring explosion against the Dragons that ended in defeat.

“Importante pa rin ‘yung panalo. Kahit marami akong nagawa, useless pa rin dahil talo,” said Celiz.

Nevertheless, Celiz said Cuan has been encouraging him to take good shots.

“Sabi ni coach, kailangan aggressive ako. Kung open, itira ko,” Celiz said.

It has been two years since Celiz played in the PBA, having suited up for Blackwater in 2015. He bounced around in several commercial teams before the Alab offer came from team owner Charlie Dy.

“Sobrang saya dahil alam naman natin na maraming gustong pumunta sa Alab pero ako ‘yung binigyan ng chance na maglaro. Thankful ako kay Boss Charlie at kay coach Mac na nandito ako ngayon,” said Celiz.

Following his exposure with Alab, Celiz is hopeful to get another shot at playing in the PBA someday. The PBA second round pick in 2013, however, said his focus is on Alab Pilipinas, the team that gave his basketball career a new lease on life.

“Siyempre, nangagarap ako na makabalik sa PBA. Pero ang focus ko, pagbutihin ko sa Alab kasi sila ‘yung nagbigay sa akin ng trabaho. Gusto kong suklian ‘yun ng magandang laro at mabigyan ng panalo ‘yung team namin,” said Celiz.

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