BURIED deep in Petron’s talent-loaded guard rotation, Dennis Miranda turned back the hands of time and played like the old spitfire in the Boosters’ lopsided 90-68 win over San Mig Coffee for a 2-1 lead in the PBA Governors' Cup Finals on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot Miranda scored six points, grabbed two rebounds, and issued three assists while playing well on the defensive end in a perfect pinch-hitting role at the backcourt for injured guards Alex Cabagnot (plantar fascitis) and Chico Lanete (hamstring) in Game Three of the best-of-seven series.
“Ako naman always ready lang. Siyempre, goal naman ng team ang mas importante,” said Miranda who played just a total of seven games this conference, averaging career-lows of 2.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 9.29 minutes.
Despite the limited playing time with the Boosters since Gee Abanilla took over the head coaching chores of Petron, Miranda said he patiently waited for his chance to get some playing minutes.
“Alam ko naman may purpose ang mga pangyayari sa buhay. Basta kay God ako parating naka-salalay. Nung mga elims at semis, di tayo nagagamit, pero kumakapit lang ako kay Lord,” he said.
“Pero di naman tayo masaya dahil nagka-injury lang `yung dalawa. Nataon lang siguro.”
Miranda said the drastic drop in his minutes and statistics somewhat affected his confidence, but every time he would look back to his early years in the league with Sta. Lucia Realty, he always gets a fresh wave of encouragement.
“Siyempre, lalo na bata-bata pa ako nun. Ngayon nagkaka-edad na. Pero masarap ang feeling na ikaw ang No. 1 point guard noon sa Sta. Lucia. Nakakalaro ka ng maayos at kung ano diskarte mo, nagagawa mo. Masarap siyang binabalik-balikan,” recalled the former Far Eastern University stalwart, who played a key role in helping the Realtors win the Philippine Cup in the 2007 season after beating Purefoods in the Finals, 4-3.
With Cabagnot and Lanete’s status still uncertain for the rest of the series, Miranda said he’ll simply make the most out of the playing time he’ll get to help the franchise end its two-year title drought.