JEWEL Ponferada admitted how hard it was defending a caliber import who stands 7-foot-2.
And yet, going up against KIA Motors’ heavyweight reinforcement Peter John Ramos brought out the best in him during Globalport’s 100-89 win on Tuesday night that kick-started the Batang Pier's PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Although Ponferada was nine inches shorter than Ramos, the Globalport big man willingly sacrificed his body guarding the mammoth Puerto Rican while getting the much needed help defense from the other Batang Pier.
“Focus ko lang dun ‘yung ma-stop lang siya (Ramos), tapat lang talaga ako nun, kasi may double naman. Pero mabigat talaga at malaki, maiilang ka talaga,” said Ponferada, who managed to scored five points and grab seven rebounds, including an in-your-face slam off a perfect feed by rookie guard Stanley Pringle.
The forward out of National University admitted his pesky defense may have gotten the ire of the poker-faced KIA import, who threatened to knock him down with a punch during the first half.
“Medyo napipikon siya eh kapag tinutulak. May sinasabi pa siya na gusto na daw niya ako suntukin, mga ganun. Pero di ko naman pinapansin kasi trabaho lang eh,” he added.
While Ramos produced huge numbers of 41 points and 20 rebounds, Ponferada said he has nothing to be ashamed about the way he defended the KIA giant.
“Masaya ako dahil di ko ini-expect na ganun din kagaling ang import namin eh. Saka sinabi lang nila (coach staff) sa akin stay in front lang. Huwag lang magpa-foul saka taas lang kamay lagi,” said the well-built Ponferada, the 13th pick overall of Purefoods during the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft.