WITH San Miguel rookie Christian Standhardinger sidelined due to an injury, Billy Mamaril took it upon himself to be ready for its PBA Commissioner’s Cup matchup against Barangay Ginebra.
Playing his first game this conference, Mamaril made the most of his seven minutes as he contributed four points and one rebound. More importantly, Mamaril provided defense on Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter when June Mar Fajardo was in foul trouble.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria lauded the play of Mamaril.
“He has limited time, but I’m happy for him dahil first three games, hindi siya nagagamit. But I saw him playing well in practices, playing hard, and nung kinailangan ko, nag-perform siya kahit papaano. I think that’s quality minutes na binigay niya,” Austria said.
The 6-foot-5 Mamaril knew he could be getting a chance to play due to the injury of Standhardinger, who was sidelined with a swollen knee.
“I was ready before the game because I knew Christian wasn’t going to play. Looking at the lineup, they have a tall lineup so I kinda knew that there is a great possibility that I’m going to be inserted. I prepared myself leading to the game,” said Mamaril.
Mamaril also played in overtime after June Mar Fajardo hit a jumper with 1.1 seconds to play in the fourth in regulation that tied the score up at 93.
“That was just to give June Mar rest. He already played heavy minutes. I was going to be there for a minute and the good thing is we pulled off the victory.
A former Ginebra cager, Mamaril admitted he had wanted to get a chance to play against the Gin Kings where he played from 2006 to 2010.
“The thing was if there was any game that I want to play, it’s against this team because I’m familiar with them. That’s probably why I played like I did,” said Mamaril.
Austria hopes to see the same from Mamaril in the next few games with Standhardinger still day-to-day due to a knee injury.
“I hope na hindi mawala ‘yung confidence niya dahil alam naman natin na day-to-day basis si Christian. We will not force him (Standhardinger) to play kung hindi siya 100 percent kasi it’s a long tournament,” Austria said.