SIDELINED by complications on his eligibility papers, Owen Graham was relieved to finally make his PBA D-League debut for AMA Online Edcuation on Monday.
“I was a bit shaking at the beginning, a bit nervous,” he said.
Graham admitted that it has been a frustrating six months for him after being drafted first overall in the 2017 PBA D-League Draft back in December.
Graham found out that he still needs to process some papers, forcing him to miss the entirety of the Aspirants’ Cup. Even his stint in the Foundation Cup was shrouded with problems, to the point that he was signed as an import for the school-based Titans.
“What they did instead was they got me on as an import. In the meantime, we're still in the process of trying to get me to fix my papers,” the Fil-Canadian said.
If Graham is able to complete the necessary paperwork, the games he’ll play this conference may be counted on to the required 14 games a Fil-foreign player needs to be eligible for the upcoming 2018 PBA Draft.
But for now, his focus is on helping AMA compete in the six-team field.
“I'm not really focused on me right now. I'm focused on trying to get this organization to a winning start,” he said, compiling 11 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes of play.
However, his performance wasn’t enough to help the Titans nab the win, falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 95-83.
That makes Graham hungrier to deliver in the coming games and hopefully, lead AMA to the semifinals, a level the franchise has yet to crack in its run in the developmental league.
“Unfortunately, we came up short, so we gotta get back to practice and start to tweak up on some of our mistakes and bounce back harder,” he said. “We gotta get a better reputation in this league and get some more respect out there. That's my number one goal right now: win as many games as possible with these guys. Like I said, my job is here to win and do what it takes.”