SUNDAY Salvacion has been in the PBA long enough to know the need to rise to the occasion when call of duty comes.
The streak-shooting guard just did that for his embattled Meralco team on Sunday.
Salvacion buried six huge three-pointers, none more important than the one he converted off the glass at the buzzer that towed the Bolts to a dramatic 90-89 come-from-behind win against Globalport Batang Pier in their Commissioner’s Cup showdown at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
That he finished with a team-high 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in his first game of the conference came as a big bonus as coach Ryan Gregorio had tapped him primarily to defend hot-shooting Globalport gunner Gary David.
“Di ko rin akalain yun na ipapasok ako ni coach. Basta ako, handa lang lagi kahit sa practice,” said Salvacion, who also had three rebounds and a steal.
“Maaga ako darating para mag-shooting ng extra,” he added.
Salvacion said he harbored no ill feelings against Gregorio for burying him deep in the Meralco bench during the first four games of the team.
“Sa tagal ko na sa liga, 10 years na ako, okay lang sa akin kung papasukin ako o hindi. Basta ang sa akin, handa lang ako,” said Salvacion, who arrived at the Bolts’ camp at the start of the season after spending two years with Barako Bull.
Drafted 11th overall in 2003 by Ginebra, Salvacion said he is hopeful he could get his playing minutes down the road following his endgame heroics against the Batang Pier.
At 34, Salvacion believes he still has a few years left in him as he looks forward to helping the Bolts, who have obviously yet to adjust to the departure of star point guard Solomon Mercado who was shipped to Globalport before the start of the tournament.