SOL Mercado is eager to make his conference debut for Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday against GlobalPort after watching helplessly from the bench as his team suffered a three-point loss to Phoenix at the weekend in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup in Davao.
The resurgent playmaker missed the Gin Kings conference debut on the road last Saturday after hurting his knee following a collision with teammate Mark Caguioa in practice a couple of days back.
“It was tough to watch it especially it’s the opening game,” Mercado said in a short chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Monday. “You usually want to make a statement.”
“But we’ll become better from it, learn from our mistakes, and collectively as a group get better,” he added.
Just four days after starting the conference on the wrong foot, the Gin Kings have a chance to step on winning ground as they take on the Batang Pier with Mercado back in harness.
“Luckily, we have a quick turnaround to try and bounce back right away, rather than a long break and you have to sit on it,” Mercado said. “So we can bounce back on Wednesday, learn from our mistakes, and get better.”
The 32-year-old combo guard, one of the standouts who surprisingly didn’t get a spot in this year’s All-Star games, showed he’s ready for the game against the Batang Pier as he managed to squeeze in some extra abdominal workout after practice.
“I do that every day, get my core strong, and help my lateral quickness and stuff,” he said with a smile.
The improved lateral quickness comes in handy as Mercado tries to stay in front on defense on either of the Batang Pier’s "Slash Brothers" in Terrence Romeo or Stanley Pringle.