ANTIPOLO CITY – On this night, Javee Mocon made a case that he’s the steal of the last PBA draft.
The underrated rookie wingman out of San Beda came through with his career game against no less than defending Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer in a 108-98 Rain or Shine victory on Friday night at the Ynares Center.
Mocon dropped 18 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and dished off four assists in the win that served as the Elastopainters’ bounce-back game following a loss to Blackwater last Wednesday. They improved to 3-1 overall.
But the scrappy forward was quick to refute thoughts the performance was his way of proving he should be way better than the sixth overall pick Rain or Shine used to select him during the 2018 draft held last December.
“Wala naman sa akin 'yun. Kahit pang sixth pick ako, it’s a blessing in disguise kasi napunta ako dito sa Rain or Shine,” said the 23-year-old native of Guagua, Pampanga.
In the days leading to the draft, Mocon’s name had been on the radar of NLEX and Meralco, which were to pick at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively.
But the need for a big man to plug the hole in the middle forced the Road Warriors to trade away the fourth overall pick to Blackwater for John Paul Erram, while the Bolts opted to pick guard Trevis Jackson at No. 5, reportedly as an insurance should the trade of Baser Amer to TnT Katropa push through.
That left Mocon still available at No. 6 - an opportunity Elastopainters coach Caloy Garcia was quick to take advantage of.
The NCAA Finals MVP admitted hearing about other teams higher than Rain or Shine planning to take him during the draft.
“May mga nagsasabi, pero hindi ko naman nilalagay sa utak ko yun,” said Mocon.
Be it at No. 4 or No. 5 or lower, it doesn’t matter to the Rain or Shine freshman.
“Kahit na-draft ako ng fourth, I’m just going to prove to them na I’m going to be one of the best players here in the league in the future,” he said.
Mocon acknowledged the trust coach Garcia and his staff have been extending to him, which all the more give the 6-foot-3 forward the confidence needed by a rookie like him.
“Thank you kina coach dahil nakita nila 'yun. Sa akin I’m just really working hard every day, do my best kung ano yung mapo-provide ko sa team,” he said.
More importantly, he credited his double-double effort against the Beermen to the entire Elastopainters.
“It was a collective effort talaga especially sa defense. Ang ganda ng pinakita nila kuya Raymund and kuya Bo guarding June Mar and Standhardinger,” he said. “Yung mga bigs namin they’re really working hard, guarding and boxing out sila June Mar.”
And the work just doesn’t stop there.
“Sa akin naman, ang dami ko pang kailangan matutunan, ang dami kong errors, mga lapses sa defense and offense. Papanoorin ko yung game and aaralin ko,” said Mocon.