KYLES Lao gave a good account of himself in his first game as a PBA player on Friday night.
Lao made the most of his 16 minutes as he had eight points and six assists in NLEX's 83-82 loss to Phoenix Pulse in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The former University of the Philippines player, activated after the season-ending injury to Kevin Alas, said his night would've been complete had NLEX won.
“Siyempre, I would love it na debut game ko ended in a win,” said Lao. “Kaso, basketball is a team game … the result is always team first.”
Lao admitted he was surprised that NLEX coach Yeng Guiao kept him in the game in a close fourth quarter, something that he hasn’t experienced in a long while.
“Nagulat ako tagal ko na hindi nakakakuha ng ganitong klaseng minutes. I’m happy with that. Thankful to coach Yeng lalo na ‘yung trust na binigay sa akin lalo na’t kaka-reactivate ko lang,” said the third-round pick of NLEX in last year’s draft.
Lao said he was given encouraging words by teammates including Kiefer Ravena, who has yet to join the team due to a Fiba-imposed suspension.
But he insisted he's no longer new to such situations.
“I’m not a new guy in this situation. I have played close games in the MPBL, D-League, UAAP. I guess ‘yung mga advice din sa akin ng mga teammates ko lalo na si Kiefer (Ravena). He texted me. I’ve been playing basketball for 10 plus years. Alam ko kung paano maglaro. It’s just showing what you can do,” said Lao.
Lao vowed to continue working on his game.
“At the end of the day, constant improvement lang. It’s not the end na isang magandang laro. Sana tuluy-tuloy,” said Lao.