AS anticipated as Barangay Ginebra’s PBA Season 42 debut are the rookies the team is going to parade in its Philippine Cup opener on Sunday night against TNT KaTropa at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Kevin Ferrer, Jammer Jamito, and Jericho de Guzman are set to officially wear the Ginebra uniform for the first time when the Gin Kings take on the Texters at 7 p.m.
And no Gin Kings freshman is probably carrying heavier pressure and expectations than Ferrer, who the team selected in the special draft involving Gilas Pilipinas cadets.
Most Gilas cadets, including Mac Belo, Jio Jalalon, and Mike Tolomia, have already made solid debuts and the onus is on Ferrer to do the same.
But the 23-year-old cager is not letting that affect him, instead focusing on simply doing what coach Tim Cone needs him to do.
“Pag nilagay mo yung pressure sa sarili mo, matataranta ka talaga,” Ferrer said. “Gagawin ko na lang 'yung laro ko at sa kung ano mang role na ibigay sa akin ni coach Tim.”
Known as a scorer in college, the University of Santo Tomas product is eager to work on his play on the other end of the floor first for him to crack the small forward rotation.
“Importante yung maturity, lalo na sa defense ko dahil din kasi sa kundisyon ko,” said Ferrer, who at 6’5” has a body ready for the pros.
And he is expected to contend for playing time against Chris Ellis and former Tigers teammate Aljon Mariano.
“Ferrer really fills out a role for us, something we can see,” Cone said. “And we hope we can win some championships with him.”
Apart from the Ginebra rookies, Paolo Taha, acquired from a trade with Mahindra, is set to make his debut for the league's most popular ballclub.