IT was just the amount of time he played, but when he was called upon.
Kevin Ferrer was grateful to coach Tim Cone for giving hjim the chance to not only play extended minutes, but letting him handle some pressure of a relatively volatile situation in Ginebra’s 89-70 win over Mahindra in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.
Ferrer, the Gin Kings’ rookie pick in the special draft for Gilas Pilipinas cadets, played a season-high of nearly 20 minutes, most of which came in the payoff period with the game yet to be decided.
With the Gin Kings up nine points with less than two minutes gone by in the fourth, Ferrer heard his name called as he entered and finished the game tallying 12 points, three boards, one assist, and one block, without committing a single turnover.
“Sa tingin ko binigyan rin kami ng experience ni coach Tim para maglaro ng endgame,” Ferrer said. “So happy naman na na-defend namin yung lead.”
Ferrer even gave the Gin Kings their biggest lead at 87-59 after knocking down a right-wing three-pointer with a little over two minutes left.
“Masaya, kasi parang binigyan kami ng opportunity ni coach Tim so grinab naming mga rookies,” Ferrer said as fellow freshmen Jammer Jamito and Jericho de Guzman also saw some action.
“Nagpapasalamat din ako sa mga teammates ko kasi sila yung nagpu-push sakin na tumira ka lang, basta libre. Binibigyan nila ako ng kumpiyansa.”
But the University of Santo Tomas product refused to get way ahead of himself, knowing he still has to keep earning Cone’s trust.
“Konti pa lang, pero kailangan pa mag-earn,” Ferrer said. “Hindi naman ako titigil sa pag-ano eh, kung anong trust man ni coach Tim sakin. Bibigyan ko siya ng reason na ibalik sakin yung pinapakita ko, yung na-earn ko [trust].”