KARL Dehesa said his stint with the national 3x3 team helped improve his game and improve his confidence as he turned in a career-best on Sunday in Mahindra’s loss to Star in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup
The sophomore wingman fired 14 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth period, including back-to-back three-pointers that put the Enforcers in the lead, 94-91, entering the homestretch.
Unfortunately, the two-year franchise only scored two points the rest of the way after that as the Hotshots ended the game on a 13-2 run to prevail, 104-96.
“There were some lapses on defense and some missed rebounds. So we just got to play hard together and try to cover for each other,” said Dehesa of the missed opportunity that pushed Mahindra further down the standings with a 2-7 slate.
But Dehesa cited his involvement with the national squad – with the 3x3 team specifically – for giving him the chance to get better as a player.
The Mahindra stalwart was part of the Manila North team that made it to the quarterfinals and placed sixth in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour held in Doha, Qatar last October. He had for teammates Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, and Troy Rosario.
“I’ve got to play a little bit extra during the offseason and it helped a lot with the confidence and everything else,” he said.
Hopefully, Dehesa said Mahindra would also be able to do the same with two games remaining in its elimination-round schedule and its chances for a berth in the playoffs hanging in the balance.
“I think we still have a very good chance, the way we’re playing, playing hard, playing defense, playing together, I think we’ll squeeze in there,” he said.