TNT rookie Troy Rosario finally getting comfortable in small forward role
Troy Rosario says he wouldn't get as much chances to shoot from the outside if the focus of opposing defenses was not on import David Simon. Jerome Ascano

TROY Rosario deflected the credit for his career shooting performance on Sunday to Tropang TNT import David Simon, who he said has drawn plenty of attention in the paint for the Texters in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Rosario, who notched career highs of seven three-pointers and 31 points in the Texters’ 106-99 win over Alaska in Game One of their quarterfinal series, said he merely benefited from the kick-out passes by Simon when the Aces double-team him.

“Talagang nagkakaroon kami ng kumpyansa pag pinapasa nya sa amin,” the 6-7 former National University star said.

“Sobrang laking tulong ni Simon not just on offense but also on defense,” the rookie forward added of Simon, who registered 24 points, 14 boards, three assists, and two steals in 34 minutes. “Siya ang anchor ng defense namin.”

[See Troy Rosario comes of age, scores career-high 31 as Tropang TNT beats Alaska in Game One]

Rosario insisted there was no conscious effort on his part to take more long-range shots.

“Tinitira ko lang yung binibigay sa akin ng depensa,” the Gilas Pilipinas pool member said. “Nasa sistema din namin yun. Why not shoot the open shot?”

But the trust from TNT coach Jong Uichico has also augured well for him in his new small forward role.

“Binigyan ako ng kumpyansa ni coach,” Rosario said. “Unti unti ko na nakukuha yung laro ko. Sa tingin ko, nakapag-adjust na ako playing the three spot.”

“Sana magtuloy tuloy yung game na ganun oara mas maging maganda yung conference namin,” he added. 

[See Compton on timely Troy Rosario shooting: ‘It feels a little bit like Chris Ross in Game Seven’]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos