Van Opstal finds a believer in Franz Pumaren: 'But he needs to put in the work'
"Just like a brand-new car – we’re slowly going to break him in," GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren says of new recruit Arnold Van Opstal. Jaime Campos

HE can now hold on to a present where he can have more playing time after a rought start to his PBA career at San Miguel Beer.

But Arnold Van Opstal also has a coach who believes in his bright future.

GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren is taking a risk on the 6-foot-9 slotman, but is reminding his new trade recruit to put in the work first to reach his ceiling with the Batang Pier.

“I can see the potential in him,” Pumaren said on Tuesday after their practice on their eve of their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup against Phoenix. “All he has to do is just work hard and I think it will benefit him and benefit the team, so might as well.”

“He’s still adjusting,” he added of Van Opstal, who GlobalPort acquired for Von Pessumal. “As we all know, when he turned pro, I think he was out of basketball for a year, then when San Miguel drafted him, he hardly played, so it’s just like starting over.

“And just like a brand-new car – we’re slowly going to break him in,” Pumaren continued.

Van Opstal echoed his new coach’s sentiment, believing it’s Pumaren who can unleash his potential.

“Yeah, for sure,” AVO said. “I’m happy to have this opportunity and I just have to work hard. It’s not going to happen overnight. Not playing for … two conferences, this is technically – if I get minutes now – my rookie season; this is where it actually starts.

"Before, I really don’t have any experience in the PBA if you think about it.”

Van Opstal already saw the opportunity at GlobalPort as he saw action in the first period against the Elasto Painters and played three minutes, although his +/- was a -9 when he was on the court.

And the former La Salle stalwart rattled off the aspects he needs to work on to improve his game.

“Just right now my agility, I think I need to work on lateral movement, my hip mobility,” the 25-year-old cager said. “It’s really not the way I wanted to be and I know I can get it to the way I want it to be.”

“(But) you can’t just rely on practices,” he added. “You have to have experience in-game. There’s definitely a lot of improvements to be made and adjustments to be made, but I’m up for the challenge.”

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Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos