IN one corner of the gym in a recent tune-up game, Doug Kramer was giving newly-acquired San Miguel big man Justin Chua pointers on how to defend the post.
“What Doug told me is that dahil laging siya ang nagbabantay ng mga imports, sinasabihan niya ako ng pointers on who to defend. Stay low, work early, kasi kapag deep na sa post, hirap na kami,” Chua said.
That has been the kind of lesson and experience Chua has been getting with the Beermen since coming over in a trade with GlobalPort for Yousif Taha during the league's break in between conferences.
And from someone who came from a young team that is only in its second season in the league, Chua said he appreciates the guidance he’s been getting from his new teammates, not just from Kramer, a fellow Atenean himself, but also from the others.
“Okay naman siya. Sobrang welcome ako lahat sa mga coaches. Tinutulungan nila ako. Sobrang na-appreciate, lalo na si kuya Ronald Tubid, sobrang bait sa akin,” said Chua.
The rookie center was played sparingly in his first game with San Miguel, scoring just two points in 10 minutes as he was saddled with three fouls in San Miguel’s 93-87 loss to Alaska.
But San Miguel active consultant Todd Purves only has nice words to say about Chua, saying he is a welcome addition to the Beermen.
Purves also sees Chua becoming a good player in the future, with him being in a veteran-laden squad.
“I really like Justin Chua,” said Purves. “I think he has a great basketball IQ and a great basketball acumen. He has good fundamentals. He has a good mid-range game and a good decision maker. So I think he has a very bright future.”
For the season-ending conference, Purves said Chua will definitely be a big help for San Miguel on the defensive end especially against imports with a post-up game.
“We have different types of imports this conference. I used varying guys in guarding imports. And I’m sure Justin will have that opportunity against a back-to-the-basket guy,” said Purves.
Chua said he will always be ready if called upon.
“Sa ngayon, wala pa siyang (Purves) specific na sinasabi sa akin. Basta ako kapag pinasok ako, ready lang ako maglaro,” said Chua.