Although the Blackwater Elite started off on a sour note, Cebuano rookie wingman Paul Desiderio apparently “did very well” in his first game as a pro in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
After a strong start, the Elite were blitzed by NorthPort the rest of the way as the Batang Pier won in convincing fashion, 117-91, last Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Desiderio, the pride of the Cebu town of Liloan and who was picked fourth overall in the PBA Draft last December, had a muted debut with just five points on 2-of-6 shooting along with a rebound, an assist and two steals in just under 20 minutes of playing time.
Blackwater’s team manager, Joel Co, though, thought his young ward was fantastic against NorthPort and gave a glowing review of the former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroon’s performance.
“I thought Paul did very well on his first game as a pro. Although of course it could easily be overlooked by how the team played in general. But I thought he was composed, he did a pretty good job on defense, which is what our team’s priority is,” said Co, himself a Cebuano hoops great.
With his first game done, Desiderio still could not believe that he now finds himself on the very same court that he once dreamt of playing on just a few years ago.
“Sobrang happy. Syempre hindi ako makapaniwala na andito na talaga ako. So I just really have to do my best every second I am out there,” shared Desiderio.
Not to say that the University of the Visayas high school product has remained on cloud nine especially after a loss as lopsided as their previous game.
“Kailangan ko pa talaga mag-adjust sa PBA. Lahat dito magagaling so kailangan ko pa talaga mag-ensayo ng mabuti para naman makahabol ako,” Desiderio said.
In spite of their rookie wingman’s meager numbers, Co believes they made the right decision in trading for the Cebuano hotshot.
“I think he justified himself that he is PBA ready,” Co said.