PROJECTED to be a first-rounder, Encho Serrano slid down the boards and was picked in the second round of the PBA Season 47 Rookie Draft at No. 19 overall.
It was a surprising slip for the Kapampangan scorer, yet one he aims to use as a motivation to prove that he belongs in the league.
"Sobrang laking motivation sa akin. Yun kasi yung sabi ng ibang tao [na makukuha ako sa first round], pero hindi ako nag-expect," Serrano said.
The draft slide enabled Phoenix to pick him up in the second round and reunited the 5-10 guard with former La Salle teammate Aljun Melecio.
"Malaking bagay yun. Meron na kaming pinagsamahan and kilala namin kung paano maglaro ang isa't isa, kaya excited ako na makasama ko sila sa court," he said.
Serrano understands that unlike in the MPBL, NBL, or the PBA 3x3, the ball won't be on his hands a lot of times in a Phoenix side loaded with scoring options.
Still, there's no denying the capabilities of the 22-year-old playmaker who's driven than ever to prove that Phoenix made the right choice in taking him in.
"Sa akin ito na yun. Di ko na kailangan patunayan sa iba. Kailangan ko lang patunayan sa team na hindi sayang na kinuha nila ako," said the Apalit, Pampanga native.
"Sobrang thankful pa rin ako kasi nabigyan ako ng pagkakataon. Di ko sasayangin yung opportunity na binigay sa akin."
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