ANTIPOLO CITY – Michael Craig introduced himself in the PBA Governors Cup by posting a triple-double in his debut game for TnT Katropa.
It’s also his way of warming up for a highly-anticipated showdown with grand slam-seeking San Miguel Beer next week.
After weeks in waiting, Craig finally got to play for the Katropa and immediately showed what exactly he could do in leading the team to a 106-96 win over KIA Picanto on Friday night at the Ynares Center.
The import notched a triple double of 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, but committed nine turnovers.
Craig described his performance as feel-good and a blessing, but would rather not gloat about the numbers. Instead, he’s looking forward to TnT’s next game on Wednesday against the mighty Beermen which should be his first tough test in the season-ending meet.
“You got to look past this and focus on Wednesday against a tough team, the team that beat us in the championship,” the burly import said. “So we got this behind us and focus against San Miguel."
Craig was among the first imports to arrive for the tournament, so early that he managed to watch the Texters lose to the Beermen in six games during the finals of the Commissioner’s Cup.
Now he wants to help his team get over that hump starting with the rematch against SMB.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said of the match-up. “I definitely love the players. I love the intensity. I love their players. They’re very competitive.”
The Beermen were so competitive especially during the finals that Craig and fellow import Mike Myers – who was a stand-by import for the hobbling Joshua Smith – found themselves in a heated war of words with some San Miguel players.
In particular, Myers had heated exchange with Best Player of the Conference Chris Ross, an incident which Craig, 25, remembers very well.
“I was right there and I heard everything that was said,” said the import, who admitted still being a little bit overweight. “He’s competitive, he’s not being disrespectful. He’s just being competitive.
“I’m looking forward to playing every team in the league. I’m not looking at any one-on-one individual. This is a team game, it will take a team effort to beat them, and if they beat us, it’s gonna take a team effort, too.
“They’re the champions, they got the throne. So we got to dethrone them.”