IT’S not surprising if rookie big man Aldrech Ramos readily feels at home with the San Mig Coffee team.
Suiting up for the Mixers meant a reunion of sorts for the 6-foot-5 Ramos with former Far Eastern University teammate Mark Barroca and ex-Tamaraw Jonas Villanueva.
Barroca also happened to be a fellow Smart-Gilas Pilipinas batchmate during their stint with the national team.
No wonder, the fifth overall pick in the last rookie draft said he immediately felt comfortable with the Mixers and their coach Tim Cone.
“Syempre masaya ako kasi may kakilala na ako sa team, may nakakakulitan na ako kasi andyan si Mark at si Kuya Jonas,” said the former Tamaraws center.
Ramos was originally picked by Barako Bull in the first round, but was shipped right away to the Mixers in exchange for Fil-Canadian Sean Anthony and San Mig Coffee’s pick in the second round (no. 12), which Barako used to select San Beda’s Dave Marcelo.
Although a little bit surprised following the draft-day trade, Ramos was nonetheless thrilled to reunite with Barocca.
Ramos also noted how the two former FEU stars in the San Mig team had been very supportive to a rookie like him.
“Blessed ako na kasama ko sila dito sa team. Nagpa-payo sila sa akin ano ang gagawin ko, pag may mali or kailangan i-improve andyan sila para mag-advice,” he said.
Ramos gave a good account of himself in his PBA debut. In 10 minutes of action, he finished with six points – on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the field – and two rebounds as the Mixers routed Alaska Aces, 103-83.
Villanueva, the Mixers’ team captain, is happy to see San Mig Coffee land another ex-FEU player like him and Barroca.
“Masaya ako na may ibang FEU na nagsa-succeed sa PBA. Excited ako para sa kanila na ipakita nila yung kaya nila,” said Villanueva.