ALDRECH Ramos is willing to work up the ladder anew as he rejoins a Star team that’s just that: full of stars.
After being one of the top options at Mahindra in a breakout season that saw him average career highs of 13.3 points, 5.7 boards, and 26.7 minutes per game, the incoming fifth-year forward has found himself back with his first PBA team after a three-team trade on Thursday.
Ramos, who was made the No. 5 pick overall of the 2012 draft by Barako before he was shipped in a draft-day trade to B-Meg, has returned to the storied Purefoods franchise by way of a trade that sent RR Garcia and Keith Agovida to SMB and Alex Mallari and a draft pick to Mahindra.
The return to the Star Hotshots meant another adjustment to the journeyman Ramos, who will have to blend in with a side that features Marc Pingris, PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, and a fellow newcomer in Paul Lee.
Ramos, at least, knows the situation he has found himself in.
“Hindi ko masabi na ganun (na ang production ko), kasi maraming star player dito,” Ramos told SPIN.ph after his second practice with the team on Thursday. “Kung ano lang yung maiaambag ko and kung ano yung kailangan nila sa akin, ibibigay ko.”
“Opportunity ko na rin ‘to para matuto sa mga beterano dito, sila Ping,” the 28-year-old cager added. “(Sa Mahindra), ako yung parang matanda dun eh kahit bata pa.”
“Hindi nga (new) welcome eh,” the Far Eastern University product said when asked about the return to the old Purefoods franchise. “Parang mas welcome back kasi galing na ako dito. Hindi na bago din.”
It also helps that Ramos is familiar with the system of former Kia coach and now Hotshots mentor Chito Victolero, who has high expectations on Ramos.
“Malaking tulong kasi si Aldrech to stretch the floor for Paul Lee and Jio (Jalalon), and Mark, para mas magaan yung trabaho nila,” Victolero said.
“Hopefully (immediate impact) para makatulong agad siya sa amin with Ping and Ian on the floor,” he added.