HE may have seen his usual playing time at San Miguel Beer in his debut with GlobalPort on Friday night, but Arnold Van Opstal is convinced he’s in a much better situation going forward.
The recently acquired rookie slotman, who saw just a little over three minutes of action in the Batang Pier’s 98-96 loss to Rain or Shine in their respective Governors’ Cup debuts, is relishing his new beginning after getting buried at the end of the SMB in his first two conferences.
“Now I’m really happy of getting some time and getting the opportunity to play,” Van Opstal said. “And San Miguel being a hard situation with June Mar and all the other bigs, so it’s very understandable, so now that I’m in this situation, I just want to make the most of it.”
The 6-foot-9 Van Opstal, usually seeing action for SMB in garbage time, even came in in at the 5:21 mark of the first quarter in his first game for the Batang Pier.
“It was great. I’m adjusting,” the Filipino-German cager said. “It was I guess baptism by fire because I just came back, so I had a couple of practices, and still not adjusted to how people play on the team or how the chemistry works, so just trying to figure out my way around that.”
Van Opstal said he wasn’t surprised that coach Franz Pumaren inserted him early in the game.
“Coach Franz told me before the game to get ready just for a couple minutes and just to do my part – play defense and rebound, so I was expecting that. I was ready for that,” Van Opstal said. “Like what I said, it was baptism by fire. I’m just trusting the process right now and just try to improve every day. I’m just driven right now to work hard and to finally be able to play.”
Playing under a former La Salle coach who led the Green Archers to five UAAP championships as well as fellow La Salle product also help Van Opstal’s adjustment.
“Coach Franz is a legend in my books and in the La Sallian book…so to finally have an opportunity to play under him and with some of my alma mater guys is pretty cool,” Van Opstal said as he teams up with Mike Cortez, Rico Maierhofer, and fellow newcomer Ryan Arana.
“I can’t complain. I’m excited of this opportunity,” the 25-year-old cager added.