TROPANG TNT seemed to have found the right replacement import for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
David Simon has been a perfect fit for the Texters, complementing the defending champions’ outside game as seen from their 108-96 win over Phoenix on Saturday.
For the second straight game, the 6-foot-8 big man attracted the defense with his solid post game and opened up shooters, who converted their shots as the Texters snapped a three-game skid.
“It's a win-win situation,” said Simon, who has brought stability to a Tropang Texters side that was rocked by the season-long suspension on former import Ivan Johnson.
“Anytime I'm scoring down low and the defense gets sucked in, I can pass it out to make open shots for them. If they're making it, it opens me up as well.”
“I guess it's a symbiotic relationship,” he added. “We work well together.”
The 33-year-old Simon flashed his entire arsenal as he registered 33 points, 22 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and three steals in just 35 minutes.
But he played down his all-around performance.
“I don't necessary go and stuff the stat sheets, but I just try to do what they ask me to do,” Simon said. “Coach mentioned rebounds, so I focus on getting rebounds, scoring down low.”
“I play as long as it helps the team win,” he added. “If the team needs me to score, that's what I'll do. If they need me to get rebounds, I'll focus on that, too.”
With how quickly Simon has been adjusting, TNT coach Jong Uichico can’t ask for more.
“We’re maximizing his strengths and he’s a team player also,” the champion mentor said. “I guess everybody enjoys playing with him.”
Simon feels the same about the entire TNT organization.
“Personally, I like everything about it,” he said. “I'm learning more and more about the guys and about the team as the days go by.”