ANTIPOLO – NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said the team has been calling Poy Erram as ‘The Sweeper’ for his defensive prowess.
“Dahil winawalis niya yung mga tira,” said Guiao.
Erram’s defense was once again highlighted in NLEX’s 87-83 win over Meralco on Saturday, swatting a potential overtime-sending basket by Ranidel De Ocampo in the final seconds of the match.
“That’s the key play. That’s the winning play. It’s as good as a winning shot for us,” Guiao said.
Guiao said ever since Erram was acquired in a trade from Blackwater, the big man's role has been on defense, something that is sometimes overlooked by fans.
“That’s really the role of Poy Erram for us defensively. Alam natin na kayang umiskor, alam natin na he has been the top scorer for us. But I don’t know if people notice that he is averaging three to four blocks a game. I’m not surprised because that’s his role in the team. We call him ‘The Sweeper,’” Guiao said.
Erram had five blocks against the Bolts and is now averaging a league-best 4.0 blocks a game to go with 16.6 points per outing.
“Sabi ni coach, sa offense may off night. Sa defense, wala. For me, ‘yung talaga ‘yung tinatrabaho ko every night. ‘Yun ang calling card ko. Kung offense ko masama, dapat ‘yung defense ko hindi masama,” said Erram.
On the game-saving block, Erram said: “Nagulat na lang ako open shot siya. Instinct as a defensive player na lang na open siya, iniwan ko na ‘yung tao ko kasi easy two points na siya. Alam namin na mag-quick two sila. Ako iniisip ko na kahit anong mangyari, kailangan hindi sila maka-shoot. Instinct na lang. Kala ko di na ako aabot.”
Erram treated NLEX’s game against Meralco as a crucial one after the Road Warriors started the conference with three straight defeats.
“Gusto talaga namin manalo lalo na gusto ko talaga manalo kasi siyempre, kapag natalo pa kami ng isa pa, mahirap na malubog. Sabi ko sa kanila, one stop lang tapos atin na ‘to,” Erram said.