MAVERICK Ahanmisi felt he has finally shook off rookie jitters as he put up a solid showing in his second game as a pro for Rain or Shine, which overwhelmed Mahindra, 108-94, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday.
The Filipino-Nigerian rookie guard put a forgettable debut behind him as he registered a team-high-tying 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, along with five boards, two assists, and two blocks in 24 minutes against the Enforcers.
“I got a feel of the game a little bit more,” said Ahanmisi, who contributed just three points in eight minutes against Star on opening day. “Last game I just had rookie jitters. Now, I was more relaxed.
“I feel like as the season goes on, I’ll fall into the system (better),” he added.
Ahanmisi also seized the opportunity to be part of coach Yeng Guiao’s unpredictable starting lineup.
“Coach Yeng never has the same starting five every game, so it was good for my confidence,” the 6-foot-2 playmaker said. “But if you’re sitting on the bench, just be prepared to play.”
Apart from the pressure brought by being the surprise third overall pick in this year’s draft, there is also pressure to step up in the absence of star guard Paul Lee, a task Ahanmisi is embracing.
“Coach Caloy (Garcia is) calling me ‘The Pressure Cooker.' But I like the pressure,” the 24-year-old cager said. “It makes me work harder. And the team’s doing a good job of trying to relieve the pressure. They’re helping out a lot.”