JUSTIN Chua continued to thrive under his college coach Norman Black as he provided a spark on both ends for Meralco in its 99-91 win over Alaska on Saturday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The fourth-year slotman reset his career-high to 14 points – all in the first half, while also putting up what Black felt was a decent defensive job Cory Jefferson despite the Aces import scattering a game-high 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting.
“Justin Chua gave us a huge lift offensively in the first half and did a decent job in guarding Jefferson for the most part,” Black insisted. “We know we can't stop Jefferson but I thought Justin did a good job of at least making things difficult for him.”
Chua is simply repaying the trust of Black after fielding his former Ateneo ward in the starting lineup in all five games this conference.
“Nag-thank you ako kay coach Norman kasi nagtitiwala siya sa akin, nagpasalamat din ako na nakapagproduce din sa wakas,” the 27-year-old cager said.
“Lagi niyang sinasabi sa akin na kaya ka nasa starting lineup para makatulong kay Alex, spacing sa floor,” the 6-foot-6 big man added. “So yung mindset ko talaga ay makatulong sa team, ayun swerte naman.
“Hopefully tuloy tuloy na, hopefully makaproduce pa rin and makatulong sa team. Kahit rebounds na lang, basta makatulong,” he added as he chipped in three boards in 33 minutes of play.