CEBU CITY – Nervous but never scared, Cebuano guard Quinton Brian Heruela finally made his long-awaited PBA debut after suiting up for Blackwater in an 82-90 loss to defending Philippine Cup champion Purefoods.
Heruela was called up by the Elite after being initially relegated in the inactive list by the franchise.
Selected by Blackwater in this year’s rookie draft, Heruela later decided to take his act at Jumbo Plastic in the PBA D-League following his failure to come to terms with the Elite.
The stocky but speedy guard finished with five points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, a steal and seven turnovers in over 30 minutes of action.
“Coach told me that I did well defensively,” said Heruela in an exclusive interview shortly after the game.
The former University of Cebu ace helped hold Mark Barroca to a woeful 1-of-7 shooting from the field and just six points, with three turnovers.
“But I know that I have to keep the turnovers down. Coach also told me about that and gave me some advice,” Heruela continued.
It’s been a long road for Heruela before finally fulfilling his PBA dream.
He first burst in the Cebu basketball scene as the lead guard for the University of the Visayas Baby Lancers.
Eventually, he made his way to University of Cebu where he teamed up with current PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo to steer the Webmasters to back-to-back Cesafi titles in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
After plying his wares for Big Chill and Jumbo Plastic in the D-League, he finally saw his dream come true after getting a call from Blackwater.
“There are no words. It’s really a dream come true. All the hard work that I put in has really paid off,” he added.
“But this is still a learning experience for me. I’ll get better,” Heruela shared.