JAY Washington has obviously caught the second wind in his PBA career at Globalport.
Halfway through the eliminations of the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup, the 6-foot-7 Fil-American is averaging career highs of 19.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in 38.8 minutes of action - numbers proving that he is back as the Jay-Wash of old.
And the former Petron star is obviously enjoying his new role as one of the acknowledged leaders of a young franchise and mentor to four rookies led by high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.
“I have a big load on my shoulders as far as minutes and being on the floor a lot. But I don’t mind that because I feel like I’m in my prime,” Washington told Spin.ph over the weekend.
The 32-year-old sweet-shooting forward said he finds joy in guiding the four freshmen in their team this season and seeing the fruits of their labor at a very early stage of the season.
“It feels good to be able to guide the young guys, be able to serve as a leader, like preach certain things, then, see that it starts to develop,” he continued.
“Obviously, it starts with our management and coaching staff, but the (rookie) players look at me and Sol (Mercado) as leaders. It feels good to be able to do that and see results. I’m sure management and coaches see it the same way.”
Washington’s new-found confidence made it easy for him to put behind him an unpleasant final years with Petron, where a rivalry and rift with resident star forward Arwind Santos tore apart a winning combination.
The multi-talented, however, would rather not look back at the sensitive issue, prefering to cherish his wonderful memories with the Boosters.
In the five seasons he played for the Boosters, Washington helped the flagship team of San Miguel Corp. win two league championships while earning two Best Player of the Conference trophies and three Mythical First team citations.
This season, Washington is obviously posting MVP-like numbers, which have helped propel Globalport to a franchise-record three straight wins en route to a 4-3 record.
While things are looking good so far for the team, Washington said the Batang Pier are still a work in progress as they look to challenge the elite teams in the league.
“It feels good to be able to help the young team in the league and win games. But we still got a long way to go though,” he said.
Globalport tries to stretch its streak to four when it goes up against reigning Governors Cup champion San Mig Super Coffee on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.