THE leading scorer among rookies through the second week of the PBA 47th season isn’t a first-rounder.
So far, Ato Ular, picked No. 13 overall by Blackwater, holds the distinction as the first-year player who leads the league in scoring with 12.3.
The top three are actually second-rounders with Tyler Tio, the No. 14 pick, averaging 10.3 points followed by fellow Phoenix Super LPG teammate Encho Serrano, drafted at No. 19, with 9.0.
Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia said it was no surprise to see the former Letran cager get off to a strong start, as he has been working so hard that he earned his place in the starting unit as early as the first game.
“Pinagtrabahuan niya talaga na mapasok sa rotation at mapasok sa starter,” said Vanguardia.
Vanguardia said a part of Ular's game that he feels is unnoticed is his rebounding and how he does it. Ular is averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest for the Bossing.
“Ewan ko kung walang nakakapansin nung mga kalawit rebound niya. Ang napapansin lang ‘yung mga sikat na team. Pero everytime, nakikita niyo kung kumalawit ng rebound etong batang ito, iba,” said Vanguardia.
“Talagang may nose for the ball siya. Napakaswerte namin na nakuha namin siya,” said Vanguardia.
Ato Ular delivers huge for Blackwater.
“Ginagawa ko lang ‘yung trabaho ko,” said the 27-year-old Ular, who also played for the San Juan Knights in the MPBL before making the jump to the PBA. “’Yung gusto ni coach na manalo, ‘yung eagerness namin sa court, ‘yun ang gusto ko lagi gawin.”
Vanguardia said the sky is the limit for the 6-foot-4 Ular.
“Sana mag-improve pa siya. Wag siyang maging complacent. Trabahuin pa namin. Every game should be like this. It’s a battle every game,” said Vanguardia.