'FilipinoDRose' Simon Enciso backs up claim with big PBA debut for Road Warrriors
NLEX rookie Simon Enciso scored 15 points, built around five three-pointers, on top of three assists, and three boards in 28 minutes. Jaime Campos

HE doesn’t only want to be like Derrick Rose, but all the best point guards in the NBA.

Simon Enciso, who once used the Twitter handle of @FilipinoDrose, spent the night before his PBA debut watching online highlights of his favorite players: Portland’s Damian Lillard, Cleveland’s Kyrie Iring, and reigning MVP Steph Curry of Golden State, as well as those of Chicago’s Rose.

The rookie playmaker seemed to mirror his idols’ long-range shooting as he was on fire for NLEX in its 90-86 win over Blackwater on Friday in the Philippine Cup.

“I try to base my game off him,” Enciso said of Lillard. “(I also watched) a lot of Kyrie, Derrick Rose, and Steph Curry.”

The Filipino-American guard ended up with 15 points, built around five three-pointers, on top of three assists, and three boards in 28 minutes.

“I wanted to go out there and do all those moves,” he said. “But once I got to the (Big Dome), it really hit me – this was my first game and I got really nervous, but excited at the same time, so I guess it was a good mixture because I came out ready and focused to play.”

[See NLEX takes first step in road to respectability with win over Blackwater]

Known as an explosive scoring point guard in the D-League, Enciso started as a shooter in the pros.

“Definitely the competition is way better here,” he said. “It’s a lot faster, players are a lot smarter, and the consistency of shots going in is higher, so you got to play good defense, you got to play solid, and that’s what I tried to do. I didn’t try to do too much. I just let the game come to me.”

“I was just trying to live in the moment, enjoy the time,” he continued. “I made it to where I want to be. Lucky I had good teammates to get me in the right spots and I just had to knock down shots.”


“I just feel blessed and thank God that I’m here today,” added Enciso, who Rain or Shine picked with the 17th overall selection, before trading him to the Road Warriors.

Now, Enciso, who also listened to rap music by Tupac and Drake to pump himself up before the game, just wants to continue his rituals.

“It worked out for me today, so why change it?”

More than his offense, Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez praised his ward's defense.

"He really helped us with his defensive intensity and mentality."

Despite an impressive debut, Enciso is setting the bar higher.

“Of course, the expectations are going to be there. But no one will ever have higher expectations than myself.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos