IT'S been two years since Ben Adamos last played in the NCAA and first-game jitters were understandable. He even took a tumble at one point in the first quarter.
"Nadapa ako. Nanibago talaga ako kasi dalawang taon ako nawala," said the Perpetual big man after his first game with the Altas since his transfer from San Beda.
But once he shook off the nerves, Adamos played a key role by contributing eight points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks in the Altas' 80-78 win over Mapua to start the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament on Tuesday.
"Nung pinagpawisan na ako, okay na. Medyo nakuha ko na yung feel sa court at naka-execute na rin naman," the third-year big man said after logging 34 minutes in his first NCAA game in two years.
"Binibiro ko yung teammates ko, sabi ko para kong aasthmahin. Kaya sabi ko, paghihirapan ko na makundisyon bago yung next game namin."
As promising as his debut was for Perpetual, the 6-foot-6 center knows that he has such big shoes to fill after the departure of NCAA MVP Prince Eze.
"Nung huling araw namin, tinanong ako ni coach Melo (Lim) na, 'Ano Ben, nape-pressure ka ba?' Sabi ko, 'Hindi coach, regular game lang.' Kasi ayoko talagang nai-stress eh kasi minsan hindi ako makatulog," Adamos said.
"Pero sabi bigla ni coach Frankie [Lim] na si Prince yung pinalitan mo, kailangan mong gumawa at nagawan ko naman ng tulong ang team ko," he said.
Lim said he has high expectations not only on Adamos but the entire team.
"It should be a team effort. Kailangan lahat may ambag. Hindi ka pwede pumasok ng wala kang ambag," said the stern mentor.
Adamos, 23, is out to prove the Altas are right to bring him in from Mendiola.
"Hundred-percent na ipro-prove ko sa lahat na deserve ko talaga, na deserve ko maglaro ng basketball," he said.