NICO Elorde is looking forward to sharing the backcourt with Manny Pacquiao at Mahindra, but is more focused on making the most of his opportunity to finally play for a PBA team.
The Enforcers finally activated the rookie point guard, the 33rd pick overall in the 2015 draft, last week, opening the possibility of the two biggest names in the boxing world sharing the court for the young PBA ballclub.
The team-up with Pacquiao will have to wait, however, as the Enforcers playing-coach is busy preparing for his farewell fight, against Timothy Bradley on April 9 (April 10, Manila time).
“Syempre naiisip mo rin yun (possibility),” said Elorde, grandson of boxing icon Flash Elorde. “Pero tingnan na lang natin mangyari.”
“Basta trabaho lang ako ngayon,” the 5-foot-10 point guard out of Ateneo added after the Enforcers stunned Alaska, 102-94, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Monday. “Kung ano man ibibgay sa akin na chance, kukunin ko tapos ready lang ako parati.”
After a stint with a Pilipinas MX3 Kings side that had an embarrassing debut in the Asean Basketball League, winning just two of their 20 games, Elorde returned to practicing with Mahindra and was rewarded with a conference-long contract.
“Sobrang overwhelmed ako kasi tuloy-tuloy 'yung nangyari sa career ko – after ABL, diretso agad dito,” the 24-year-old playmaker said. “Sobrang pasalamat ako kay Lord.”
Before entertaining any thoughts of an Elorde-Pacquiao team-up, Nico's primary goal isto earn his playing time as he played just four minutes in his pro debut against Rain or Shine, before getting a DNP against the Aces.
“This conference pa lang (ang contract ko), pero renew lang daw ng renew, so tiyaga-tiyaga lang talaga,” the former Ateneo standout said.