GINEBRA rookie James Forrester just needs to be patient and more consistent during team practice to get the breaks he’s long been waiting for.
The piece of advice came from assistant coach Juno Sauler, who has been tasked by team management to take a more active role in handling the team in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“He just needs to be more consistent, like everyone else. Consistent daily,” said Sauler.
They Said It!
“(Forrester) in a lineup where the spot he plays is very loaded." Ginebra assistant coach Juno Sauler
But Sauler was quick to clarify it doesn’t mean the rookie guard from Arellano University is inconsistent, pointing out that he faced stiff competition in his position at Ginebra.
“Let’s face it. Yung mga kalaban niya sa puwesto very consistent din sa practice. He’s in a lineup where the spot he plays is very loaded,” said the soft-spoken Ginebra deputy coach.
Two games into the mid-season conference, there’s still no Forrester sighting yet on the floor for the struggling Kings, although the rookie isn't complaining - at least not publicly.
In an earlier interview, Forrester told Spin.ph that he’s more than willing to wait for his big break and earn his minutes with Ginebra than be traded to another team.
The statement naturally endeared him more to the throng of Barangay Ginebra fans, most of whom have now taken to social networking sites to air their petition for more playing time for Forrester.
Here's one of them:
Although he cannot promise more minutes for the rookie, Sauler assured that the coaching staff is carefully weighing all options, with the welfare of the team in mind.
“Ang coaching staff kasi decides on whatever we think is good for the team,” he stressed.
“I am sure he (Forrester) can contribute, just like how the others are contributing also. Pero siyempre, all our judgments will be what is most beneficial to them.”
“I am not saying that James cannot play. He is a very good player. That’s why nga di ba yung contract niya is long-term, so we’re making sure that we continue to develop James. So when the proper time comes, he’ll be ready.”
Asked if Forrester has what it takes to be a vital piece of the Ginebra rotation one day, Sauler answered in the affirmative.
“Yeah, meron. Meron," said Sauler.
But at the same time, Sauler said finding time for Forrester isn'y easy considering the amount of talent available for Ginebra in the 2 and 3 spots, and the job only gets harder, he said, with import Leon Rodgers around.
“Syempre, kaposisyon ni James ang import namin. So it’s a choice between the import and James Forrester,” said Sauler, who is also head coach of De La Salle in the UAAP.
“Plus do you want Chris Ellis sitting down and James Forrester playing, or Mark Caguioa sitting on the bench or James Forrester playing?” he asked.
But Sauler said he admires how Forrester has shown diligence and determination in practice despite the fact he’s aware how the kid is frustrated with his lack of playing time with the team.
“He has a very nice attitude,” said the Ginebra first assistant coach.
Sauler also made it clear trading Forrester has not crossed Ginebra's mind.
“We were not thinking about that. It never entered our heads. He is still part of the team’s future," he said. "Of course, there is nothing certain in this world. What we say now might not be the same thing tomorrow.”
Listen to podcast of full interview with Juno Sauler here: