VETERAN guard Ronjay Buenafe doesn’t mind coming off the bench behind sophomore guard Terrence Romeo.
The 6-2 Buenafe said the moment he arrived at GlobalPort after being traded by Barako Bull last season, he was ready to accept any role in order to help the Batang Pier break out of the doldrums.
So far, Buenafe has responded splendidly the past two games after being rewarded with longer playing minutes by coach Pido Jarencio while the flamboyant Romeo is on a shooting slump.
The shooting guard out of Emilio Aguinaldo College took charge by scoring 11 of his 19 points in a solid second-half performance as the Batang Pier repulsed a tough KIA Motors side, 84-79 last Tuesday.
Buenafe continued his brilliant shooting five days later when he banged in a team-high 17 points including four three-pointers in an 87-72 demolition of a woeful Blackwater squad.
“It’s a challenge for me kasi di nga maganda nilalaro ni Terrence, he’s on a shooting slump, so ako, I have to step up sa team, kasi kung hindi, sino pa mag-step up sa amin,” Buenafe said.
The 31-year-old averaged 3.0 points in 13 minutes during his first three games, but his numbers rose dramatically in his last two games to 18.0 points at an average of 27.5 minutes of exposure.
Buenafe, now playing in his sixth PBA team in eight seasons, said he’s happy where he is today, even if it means coming off the bench to spell the younger Romeo or rookie Stanley Pringle, saying team chemistry is what’s important.
“After kasi nung trade, nasa bottom ng standings ang team, pero di na naman naging mahirap yung adjustment ko sa team,” said Buenafe, who was named Accel-PBA Player of the Week for the period from November 4-9.
“Yung chemistry naman namin, walang problema kasi together na ang team na ito for the last four months, since before draft day pa,” he added.