SAN Miguel rookie Arnold Van Opstal is thankful for every playing opportunity that comes his way, no matter how brief.
With San Miguel in the process of wrapping up a 109-82 rout of Barangay Ginebra, the former La Salle standout and his fellow relievers got rare court time as Beermen coach Leo Austria opted to rest his overworked starters.
AVO is naturally grateful.
“It feels good, obviously. I have to thank the starting five and the second group for playing so well to be able to give me and Rashawn (McCarthy) and Michael (Mabulac) a chance to play today,” said the Gilas Pilipinas cadet.
“So I’m really happy ’cause it’s the finals, who doesn’t wanna play? But more importantly, I just want to win, it’s the main goal - to win,” he added.
The 6-9 third-string center saw action for two minutes and 56 seconds and registered one rebound. He later assured that he'll be ready every time is number is called.
“Once I get my chance, it’ll be alright and just go for the win,” he said.
Van Opstal's limited playing time has not gone unnoticed for fans, who either launch a clamor online or make it an inspiration for memes, depending on which side they're on.
But the SMB big man simply puts his head down, paying no attention.
“I don’t really care, it doesn’t matter to me, I don’t pay attention to that,” he said when SPIN.ph caught up with him when he was on his way out of the MOA Arena.
Game Two is on Sunday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City and Van Opstal expects the Beermen to be ready for a Ginebra comeback.
“We’ll definitely gonna try to win, I know Ginebra’s a tough team, if they’re down they’re gonna respond to that, they’re not gonna lie down and just die,” he said.
“I’m sure we’re gonna get ready for Game Two and we’ll see them on Sunday.”