AS expected by the Magnolia coaching staff, Nick Rakocevic delivered for the Hotshots in just his first game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero on Wednesday compared Rakocevic to another player on their team.
“He is only 24 years old. We love the energy. Sabi ko nga before, I have another Abueva on the floor,” said Victolero, referring to Calvin Abueva who didn't play in the game.
“Let’s wait for Calvin to play and let’s see how he will fit with Calvin,” added Victolero.
Victolero said the Hotshots pursued Rakocevic after assistant coach Juno Sauler saw how he played in his previous stint in China.
“May nagbigay na agent sa amin from the States. Si coach Juno was the one who found Nick. Coach Juno and I talked about this guy kung paano siya magfi-fit sa system namin. We saw him play in China. We feel na he is the best fit for our system,” said Victolero.
Rakocevic said he likes his situation at Magnolia which has a similar philosophy to how he wants to play.
“I think it’s a great fit. I got a lot of good teammates around me. It makes it easier to play with great point guards who can pass in the pick and roll. It’s just an overall great fit. It makes my job a lot easier offensively and defensively.”
“We have a great chemistry off the court as well. Everybody is like a family. Coach says that he is a family-oriented guy and I thought the same way coming in. They made it very easy for me to come in and adjust,” said Rakocevic.
Even though he racked up huge numbers on Wednesday, Rakocevic said that won’t be his hallmark this conference as he vowed to accomplish what Victolero wants him to do on the court.
“If coach says let’s go out there and score, I will go out there and score. Let’s go out there and play defense, whatever he feels like I need to do or the team needs to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not here to just make everything about me. It’s a team sport,” he added.
This early, Victolero said he doesn’t mind having Rakocevic as their resident import.
“Yes, he will be playing here for 10 to 12 years as our import,” said Victolero in jest.