AEL Banal remained positive and stayed patient while waiting to break out in his PBA career.
After contributing just three points in 19 minutes in his debut, the top rookie pick in the regular draft was held scoreless after missing his three shots while also committing three turnovers and three fouls in 14 minutes off the bench against Meralco on Sunday.
“Ganun talaga, siguro let the game come to me, keep working hard, ganun talaga pag rookie,” said the US-schooled son of former PBA player and champion coach Joel Banal.
While delighted with his team’s unbeaten start, the 24-year-old freshman would’ve been happier if was a factor in the early success.
“Sobrang masaya ako kasi two-zero start yung team, really excited about that, pero on my part, accountability part, I have to help the team advance even more,” Banal said. “Siyempre thankful ako kasi we're all in this together, maganda yung chemistry namin.”
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Banal admitted his performance so far leaves much to be desired.
“Not really frustration but more of owning up to myself, and putting myself in the situation where I can help the team,” he added. “Sa ngayon wala pa, sa ngayon nangangapa pa, so back to the lab, back to working hard.”
His father continues to give him advice.
“It’s really a big adjustment for him,” the elder Banal said. “I’m reminding him all the time that he has to be patient. It’s going to come, it’s going to come.”
“You’re drafted number one because of your potential as a big guard. I know that they’re not really, especially coach Leo (Isaac), he’s not expecting immediate impact from you.”
“He’s a smart player,” he continued. “He knows what to do, he know how to adjust. He’s going to fit in. all he needs to do is to feel the game.”