JOHN Paul Erram considered Blackwater’s huge win over Barangay Ginebra Friday night as a major confidence booster for him and the rest of the Elite.
The 28-year-old big man towered in the Elite’s 94-77 upset of the Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena as he held his own against former Ateneo teammate Greg Slaughter.
Erram outplayed Slaughter in the paint, submitting a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds in Blackwater’s second straight win in three outings.
Slaughter meanwhile, ended up with 20 points and 10 rebounds in Ginebra’s first loss of the season.
“Pang pataas ng confidence sa akin kasi siyempre teammates kami (dati) tapos ngayon magkalaban. And against them, nanalo kami,” said the 6-foot-8 center who also had four blocks but committed six turnovers.
“Ang laking tulong lalo na sa akin. Tapos yung caliber ni Greg na player hindi basta-basta. Marami akong natutunan sa match-up na yun,” said Erram, who played as Slaughters' back-up during Ateneo’s UAAP title runs in 2011 and 2012.
The victory against Ginebra was only the second in Blackwater franchise history, but the first time in an all-Filipino conference.
Erram said the hungry factor among the Elite’s young roster heavily contributed to the surprise win.
“Mas aggressive kami, yun nga bata kaya unpredictable,” he added. “Yung effort namin andun, fresh legs pa. Tsaka malaki pa yung i-improve namin. Kaya nothing to lose, everything to game kami.”
Erram returned to Blackwater during the last Governors Cup after sitting out for almost a whole season to recuperate from an ACL injury.
Already 100 percent recovered from the injury, Erram knows he’ll get even better as the season goes along.