FROM the five teams he has played for in the PBA, Blackwater forward Bryan Faundo admitted Barangay Ginebra will always have a special place in his heart.
The former Letran big man only played a total of six games this past season for the Gin Kings, but he admitted that the support he got from his former teammates has helped him progress from just a bench warmer to a starter with the Elite in the current campaign.
“Sobrang malaking factor para sa akin (yung suporta ng Ginebra players) kasi kahit wala na ako (sa Ginebra), nandun pa rin sila para akin,” Faundo told Spin.ph.
“Sobrang happy ako at naging bahagi ako ng Ginebra team.”
Although Blackwater has yet to win in its maiden PBA season, the 30-year-old Faundo felt the love of his former teammates and even Ginebra fans alike when the Elite-GlobalPort Batang Pier game served as curtain-raiser last Sunday to the Gin Kings-Purefoods Star Hotshots match.
An inspired Faundo logged 34 minutes and finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds on an impressive 8-of-12 field goal shooting.
But now that he's finally settled down with his new team, Faundo has learned to lead by example to his younger teammates like Juami Tiongson, Alex Nuyles and center JP Erram.
“Parang kami (veteran players in Blackwater) na yung mga matatanda, or mas beterano, so siguro, kami na ang magbibigay ng kumpiyansa sa mga rookies,” said Faundo, who was plucked by Blackwater from the dispersal draft after being left unprotected by Ginebra.
So impressive is the 6-foot-5 Faundo that he is currently Blackwater’s second-leading scorer with his 9.6 points per game average, while adding 5.8 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per contest.
All his numbers are PBA career-highs, after playing a grand total of 55 games in his first four seasons with Barako Bull, Meralco, Petron (now San Miguel) and Barangay Ginebra.