DENOK Miranda showed he still has what it takes to deliver at crunch time as he hit the go-ahead basket for Blackwater in its 86-84 win over Meralco on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Off a timeout, the 34-year-old muscled past Baser Amer then got a shot off that found its way inside the net while drawing a foul on Chris Newsome to break the last deadlock with four seconds left.
"Ayun, may asim pa,” Miranda said with a smile as reporters flocked around him after the game.
The 12-year veteran, though, insisted it was not a statement of redemption after seeing his career almost come to an end last year, before the Elite took a chance on him in the Governors’ Cup.
“Hindi naman (redemption),” Miranda said. “Ako, kinausap naman na ako nila boss, nina coach kasi bago na yung team eh at mag-build kami ng magandang culture dito.
"'Yung experience ko dito sa liga ise-share ko sa kanila. Yung contribution ko, nabibigyan ko sila ng pointers - sila Mac (Belo), Art (dela Cruz), halos lahat. Yun yung role ko sa team.”
“Sakto, pag wala na talagang nangyayari, binibigay ko yung best ko para makapag create, para makatira,” he added.
And taking matters into his own hands was exactly what Miranda did in the game-winning play where coach Leo Isaac gave the five players on the floor the green light to take the shot.
“Ang instruction ni coach, alam ko may foul to give pa Meralco - ayun, atakihin namin. Eksakto, nakuha ko yung bola,” Miranda said. “Dapat, nagusap na kami ni Mac (Belo) eh, siya or ako. Dalawa kaming magbo-ball screen. Sakto nakita ko yung oras, eh maganda yung spacing. So inatake ko na yung baseline.”
“Thankful ako kay God. Naramdaman ko may foul, so binato ko nalang,” he added.
As a result, the Elite managed to stay undefeated in their first two games for their best start in their three-year history in the league.
“Ngayon, ang focus namin ay every practice and every game,” Miranda said. “Ang ganda kasi ng intensity namin lalo na sa ball movement, ang daming players namin ang interchangeable eh.
"Pwedenge tres, pwedeng kwatro. May mga shooters tapos may mga puwedeng one or two. Yun naman ang kinagandahan namin sa iba.”