By EUGENE FLORES
NICO Salva couldn't be more grateful for the chances Meralco is giving him to prove that he belongs in the PBA.
“It’s really an answered prayer, you know. I waited for this for a long time," he said.
Seldom-used for the majority of his professional career, Salva got his big break courtesy of a familiar face in coach Norman Black, and has slowly earned himself a spot in the Bolts rotation.
"There were times na nagda-doubt ako, pero I just continued to work hard," the 6-foot-3 forward said.
That's why for Salva, his career-best 22-point night on Wednesday was a blessing in itself despite Meralco losing a tough one to Phoenix, 93-92 in overtime to start the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
"I just stayed consistent with my work and never stopped to pray. I thank God na nabibigyan ako ng chance," he said.
Those opportunities were there once again in the overtime period when Salva drilled five straight points to keep his side in the thick of the fight before bowing in heartbreaking fashion.
As disheartening as the loss was, Salva, just like in his career, isn't one to lose hope as he aims to contribute to the Bolts' bid to finally reach the playoffs in the all-Filipino conference.
“I’ll do my best. Every game naman, I just wanna help the team and not just play for myself," he said.