BONG Quinto doesn’t mind slipping well into the second round of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft despite being labeled as a no-brainer first-rounder.
Quinto was selected at No. 2 in the second round by Meralco, quite a letdown for the former Letran Knight who was expected to go as high as No. 4 overall.
The 23-year-old Quinto, however, said he didn't mind the demotion, saying he understands that teams are in search of a particular player that will fit their system.
“Wala tayong magagawa. May mga sistema dito. Siguro hindi sila magfi-fit sa mga ibang team na ‘yun,” Quinto said.
“Ako naman, willing naman ako. Kung ano kaya kong gawin, dadagdagan ko para makatulong ako sa team lalo na sa Meralco. Binigyan nila ako ng chance,” said Quinto.
Meralco coach Norman Black said he was surprised that Quinto was still available in the second round, admitting he actually had another big man, Jeepy Faundo, for their choice in the second round.
“I could not believe it, actually,” Black said. “For me, he was definitely a first-round pick and I could not believe he dropped to the second round. Obviously, with my second pick, I wanted to choose a big guy probably Faundo.
"But when he (Quinto) was sitting there, I had no choice but to take him because he's a multi-talented player. Not only can he score, but he can pass and rebound," Black added.
Quinto is glad to land in a consistent playoff contender like Meralco.
“’Yun naman siyempre ang gusto ng player. Pangarap ko, meron akong chance na ma-prove ‘yung worth ko. Masaya ako na pinick ako nila coach Norman.”
“Siguro, kailangan ko na magbaon ng maraming Ingles sa kanila,” Quinto said in jest. “Sobrang thankful ako sa kanila na pinili nila ako.”
Quinto said he is willing to do any role in the squad that already has a strong nucleus led by Chris Newsome and Baser Amer.
“Kung ano ‘yung ibibigay ni coach Norman sa akin, ido-double effort ko kasi rookie ako so back to zero. Kaya kung i-provide ‘yung ibibigay na role ni coach Norman sa akin,” said Quinto.
After a final season with the Knights that saw him post triple doubles on a consistent basis, Quinto now welcomes a new chapter in his PBA career.
“Sobrang masaya lang kasi dito tapos na ‘yung NC, tapos na buhay ko sa NC. Bago na ‘to. PBA na ‘to. Eto na ‘yung pangarap ko nung bata pa lang ako,” said Quinto.