DAVON Potts breathed a huge sigh of relief after surviving a hectic couple of weeks that saw him play for Cignal in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup and for San Beda in the Filoil preseason tournament.
The Fil-Am cager made the juggling act this summer to meet the requirements of an aspiring PBA player in the draft by playing at least seven games in two D-League conferences.
After meeting such eligibility requirement for the PBA draft later this year, Potts was nothing but grateful to the Hawkeyes for making it happen.
"I'm just really grateful and appreciative of the Cignal family," said Potts after finishing a three-week stretch where he played seven games for the Hawkeyes. "I know they pulled a lot of strings for me for this to happen.”
"Most importantly, I want to thank my coach (Boyet Fernandez) and the organization. I want to thank my teammates. Without them, this won't be possible," he added.
Potts admitted playing and practicing for two teams took its toll on his body, saying that he was practically in training for a maximum of seven hours per day. Even Potts can't believe he was able to pull off the feat.
"It's tough. Honestly, it was a physical battle and it was a mental battle," Potts said.
"It's funny because I practice seven hours a day. 5:30 a.m. to around 9:30 a.m. with Cignal. And after that, it goes to 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (with San Beda). Talk about taking a toll on my body. It's been tough but I got through it," said Potts.
Despite the predicament, Cignal and San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said he wanted Potts to get closer to his PBA dream by appealing to Cignal management for a packed schedule before June 28. NCAA players are no longer allowed to suit up for D-League teams after the collegiate league's eligibility meeting.
"Gusto niya maglaro sa PBA. I'm happy that Cignal gave in to our request to play seven games in three weeks," said Fernandez.
Fernandez has also been noticing that fatigue was affecting Potts play, but was impressed with how his ward took on the challenge.
"Ang ginagawa ko kasi kapag hard practice sa Cignal, we try to manage him with San Beda. Kung hard naman sa San Beda, manage ko siya sa Cignal,” he said.
"But again, in the games, hindi ko na talaga ma-manage kasi Cignal needs him, San Beda needs him. Sabi ko na kanya, if we have time to rest, we will rest you kasi 'yung legs niya these past few games bumibitaw na especially when we played sa Filoil kasi short na mga tira niya," added Fernandez.
The legs, though, were there for Potts in his final match with Cignal as he finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field in the Hawkeyes' 93-75 win over Racal Motors in a rematch of last conference's finals series.
"To be honest, even my teammates know, they know that if I see an opening, I'll take it. But if I see an open teammate, I'll pass as well. I'm unselfish but at the same time, I stay aggressive. I feel my teammates say this is your last game, make a statement, and that's what I did today," he said
"I want to make sure that I appreciate my teammates. Whatever I can contribute to a win, that's more important for me," added Potts.
For now, there will still be no rest for Potts as he intends to play for San Beda in Wednesday's Filoil quarterfinal match against University of the Philippines, confident he still has the time to recharge for the NCAA Season 93 on July 8.
"No, not at all," said Potts, when asked if he’s concerned about overfatigue, "because it's June 20. I have about three-and-a-half weeks. Pretty much, I'm done with Cignal and I'll be back with San Beda. I'll be ready for the NCAA."