KRIS Rosales’ patience paid off on Friday night, and he’s hoping it would also pay dividends for the whole TNT KaTropa starting on Sunday night when they take on San Miguel Beer in Game Six of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
The sophomore playmaker gave the Texters a lift in Game Five with a career-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, along with two assists, and one rebound, while not committing a single turnover in 15 minutes off the bench in their 111-102 loss.
The breakout performance finally came for the 2015 Draft’s 19th overall pick, who failed to land a contract with Barako Bull, settled for the Asean Basketball League (ABL) with the Singapore Slingers, before finally managing to sign a PBA contract with TNT before the start of the last Governors’ Cup.
“I just stayed patient,” the 26-year-old Rosales said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Saturday. “The coaches always tell me to let my teammates create for me, so I just spot up and let Jayson (Castro) and RR (Garcia), all the playmakers to get all the attention, and when people help off me, I’m just ready.”
And the 6-foot combo guard flashed his touch from beyond the arc by knocking down four of his five treys.
“I’ve been working on my three-pointer ever since I came into the PBA, because I wasn’t really known as a shooter, and I wanted to bring spacing to the floor,” Rosales said. “That’s one of the ways I can contribute. I just stayed patient and kept working on my game, and when things opened up, I was able to knock down some shots.”
“It kinda sucks we didn’t get the win, but we just move on and look forward to Game Six,” he added ahead of the crucial matchup that tips off at 6 p.m.
Rosales underlined the significance of the TNT role players stepping up as stopper Anthony Semerad also gave the Texters an added offensive punch, scoring nine of his 12 points in the payoff period – all from beyond the arc.
“It’s very important because every possession counts,” Rosales said. “The starters, the main guys, they can’t play the whole game, because that’s just the nature of the game – coach Nash likes to rotate players to keep everyone fresh.”
“So when you are coming off the bench, you’re a role player, you have to make sure you do your job whether it’s playing defense, getting rebounds, make the hustle play, or hit the open shot,” he added. “You just got to be ready.”
The Texters definitely need all the help they can get after RR Garcia was held to three points after making just one of his six shots in almost 25 minutes as a starter, while Kelly Williams could only contribute two points on four attempts in 14 minutes off the bench.
“Tomorrow, it’s a do-or-die, so we have to come in and just fight and be ready, because if we’re not, the season will be done for us,” Rosales sadi. “Our backs are against the wall, but sometimes we play better like that.”