VAL Acuña’s hot shooting in Friday’s match against Saigon is a product of hardwork in his effort to bring valuable contribution to an Alab Pilipinas squad in his effort to lighten the load of the team’s resident star Bobby Ray Parks Jr.
Acuña said he is aiming to bring a different dimension to Alab Pilipinas as he looks to contribute on both ends of the court, particularly in his three-point shooting.
The former PBA player said he is making a big effort in his outside shooting, more so since ABL teams have fielded in taller imports in its roster.
With Parks already bringing an all-around offensive game from the inside and the outside, Acuña is making an effort to pitch in by consistently hit the outside shots.
“Hindi puwedeng drive ng drive dito kasi malalaki ‘yung mga import,” said Acuna. “Shooting pa rin talaga kasi meron naman si Rayray sa ibang bagay, ang ambag ko na lang sa team ay depensa at ‘yung lagi kong pinapractice na outside shooting.”
Acuña’s shooting has been in display in the past games including last Friday, when he connected on seven triples on his way to finish with 23 points in Alab Pilipinas’ 74-70 win over Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City.
The 30-year-old Acuña, drafted by B-Meg in the 2010 PBA draft, knows how valuable it has become to consistently hit the outside shot having seen the improvement of other teams in the ABL.
“Nag-iimprove na ‘yung mga locals ng mga bansa,” said Acuña, who played for the three other Philippine teams in ABL’s history. “Nakaraan kasi, umaasa lang sa import. Dati lima ang import, tatlo Pinoy. Pero ngayon, ‘yung mga local nila, malaki na ang inimprove.”
With his work on his outside shooting, Acuña hopes his improved shooting will help him return to the PBA someday. The former University of the East standout, however, said he is focused on his stint with Alab Pilipinas.
“Focus muna dito. Gusto ko, if ever, maka-tryout sa PBA. Pero siyempre, maganda ‘yung tinatakbo ng team kaya focus muna dito. Kung may magandang mangyari naman dito, kahit papaano, may magandang naghihintay,” said Acuña, who last played in the PBA with Blackwater in 2015.