JOHN Paul Erram finally got the monkey off his back as NLEX broke through the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night.
Erram finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and five block shots to lead the Road Warriors past the stubborn Columbian Dyip, 107-97, for the frachise's first win since acquiring him in a trade in the offseason.
It was certainly a welcome relief for the 29-year old big man.
“Nakahinga talaga ako ng maluwag kasi alam naman ng mga tao yung pressure na meron sa akin kasi ang dami nilang binitawan,” said Erram, who was acquired by NLEX after giving up a pair of first-round picks in the last rookie draft as well as the veteran duo of Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo.
“Ngayong naka-deliver ako ng panalo and then nag Best Player [awardee] pa ako, ang sarap sa pakiramdam.”
Erram and fellow big man Marion Magat, who had a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds, had to work double time defending the post as the Road Warriors missed the services of the ever reliable JR Quinahan, currently out with a sprained ankle.
The former Ateneo slotman lauded the 6-foot-7 Magat for stepping up in Quinahan's absence.
“Yun ang importante, kapag may isang tao na nawala, dapat may isa ring mag-step up. As a player yung ang goal to improve every game,” he said
“Yun ang pinaka-maganda sa mga teammates ko lalo na kay Marion, tinanggap niya yung challenge at nag-contribute siya sa team,” added Erram.
But one is only good according to his last performance, and despite the victory, there’s no room for the Road Warriors to get complacent, said Erram.
“At the end of the day, It’s just one win,” said Erram. “Marami pang kailangang gawin, marami pang kailangang i-prove.”