Rookie Maverick Ahanmisi beats proven stars Calvin Abueva, Chris Ross for PBA Player of the Week nod
Rookie Maverick Ahanmisi rallied Rain or Shine past Chris Ross and the Beermen in Game 1. Jerome Ascano

RAIN or Shine rookie Maverick Ahanmisi has never been the type to back down in big moments and he showed it on Sunday.

Playing with a confidence not normally seen in a rookie, the Fil-Nigerian guard came off the bench to provide the spark as Rain or Shine posted a 98-94 win over fancied San Miguel Beer to draw first blood in their  2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With Paul Lee still working his way back into game shape due to a nagging knee injury, Ahanmisi stepped up big time for the Elasto Painters with a team-high 23 points to go along with nine rebounds and three assists against the Beermen.

The former University of Minnesota also showcased his solid all-around game last week against Barangay Ginebra, coming off the bench to contribute 14 points, four rebounds and four assists as Rain or Sine swept the league’s crowd favorite, 2-0, in their quarterfinal series.

“Si Maverick malaki ang naitulong niya sa point guard chores kaya hindi kailangan solohin ni Paul lahat,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said in commending last year’s no. 3 overall rookie pick.

The two huge performances earned Ahanmisi his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of April 18-24 to beat Alaska big man Eric Menk and Calvin Abueva as well as San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

Rain or Shine guns for a commanding 2-0 series lead against San Miguel on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

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