AFTER starting the season on fire, Barako Bull gunner Ronjay Buenafe has cooled down.
Now he's determined to get hot again.
Since scoring a season-high 27 points to lead Barako Bull to a thrilling 97-93 win against Alaska, Buenafe's scoring has dipped significantly as Barako went on a tailspin in the PLDt myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup.
With the Energy now occupying the bottom half of the standings with its 2-4 record, Buenafe said it is imperative for him to step up and get his confidence back to help Barako regain its bearing.
“Kailangan talaga naming dumepensa and ako naman, I have to be smarter the next time around kasi ang depensa, lagi nang dumidikit sa akin,” Buenafe told Spin.ph after the team’s practice at Gatorade Hoops Center.
Buenafe found his scoring go down from 14 points, to 10, 9 and finally five during Barako Bull’s latest loss to Barangay Ginebra, a 79-85 decision.
The former Emilio Aguinaldo College General shooting guard said he has been taking extra shots from beyond the arc in practice as he tries to rediscover his shooting touch.
He actually shot 10-of-17 during Barako Bull’s 2-0 season start, en route to earning the season's first Accel PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honor. But Buenafe has since gone 6-of-24 from three-point zone.
While Buenafe still leads the team in scoring with his 12.6 points per game average, the 30-year-old guard said it will take more than just good outside shooting for the Energy to beat San Mig Super Coffee, which they will meet on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Di man kami ganun kalakas na team, pero laging ine-emphasize ni coach (Bong Ramos) sa amin na kaya naming talunin ang malalakas na teams. Importante eh focus lang naman kami,” he added.
"Kami, gusto na naming manalo, kasi unang-una, para di rin kami bumagsak sa ninth place. Mahirap na rin yun kung ganun. At least, maibalik din namin ang kumpiyansa namin," he said.