RODNEY Brondial made the most of extended minutes on Friday night as he gave Star an early lift in its 89-80 win over Barangay Ginebra in Game Five of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series.
After sitting out Game Four and not even lasting a single minute on the court in the each of the previous two outings, the Hotshots reserve big man suddenly came in at the seven-minute, 59-second mark of the opening period and cherished the opportunity.
Brondial repaid coach Chito Victolero’s faith by scoring all his eight points, including one three-pointer, in the period.
“Nasurprise ako. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, nabigla rin talaga ako,” the 26-year-old big man added. ‘Kaya parang ang bilis ko napagod. Sabi ko, ‘Coach, babawi na lang ako ‘pag nakuha ko ‘yung second wind.’ Swinerte lang rin.”
“Yung ginagawa ko naman is normal na laro—takbo nang takbo, rebound nang rebound,” he added. “Medyo na-excite lang talaga nung first wind. Hindi ko naman ine-expect talaga. Tapos nung nakuha ko naman na yung ano, okay naman na.”
Brondial ended up playing 11 minutes and finished with three rebounds, one assist, and one steal, without a turnover.
And his performance was a recent proof that the three-year pro out of Adamson is more than just a pretty face.
“Oo naman, hindi ko naman kino-consider na asset ‘yung itsura,” Brondial said. “Kahit nung nasa Ginebra pa naman ako, sinasabi ko na ‘willing ako makipagpalitan ng mukha.’”
“Kung bibigyan ako ng pagkakataon, ibibigay ko naman ang best ko,” he added.
And that the 6-foot-3 ¾ slotman did on Friday night against his former team as he helped the Hotshots move on the verge of a finals berth.
“Willing naman ako makipagpalitan basta sa ikakapanalo ng team,” Brondial reiterated. “Lalo ngayon, semis na, kaya laban lang. Ayaw ko rin maging pabigat sa loob para hindi ako mapahiya sa mga teammates ko.”