KEVIN Ferrer has skipped several UST practice sessions but that could actually pay dividends for the Tigers in the new UAAP season.
Known more as a defensive player guarding the likes of Bobby Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena last season, Ferrer has recently been thriving on offense in the PBA D-League, just like in his days with the UST Tiger Cubs.
He admitted that he has missed practices with UST a few times due to the D-League but assured that he will be ready in time for the UAAP.
“Minsan wala kami kasi busy sa D-League pero binibigyan pa rin namin ng time ang UST,” Ferrer said.
In the recent Aspirants Cup, Ferrer emerged as the top scorer for Blackwater Sports as he averaged 14.1 points while also chipping in 4.9 rebounds, and a steal per game in helping his team reach the semifinal round.
Ferrer said the team’s tough defense has been the reason why his offensive game has improved.
“Nagkakataon lang kasi maganda ang depensa namin so kapag nakikita ko na nasa amin na ’yung bola, nag-leleak out nalang ako tapos puro sureball nalang,” said the gangly 20-year-old.
Nevertheless, the UST Tigers’ PBA D-League stint has helped them improve in various aspects of the game.
The lack of experience was evident during the UAAP finals last year as the Tigers, who reached the championship series for the first time since 2006, fell short against a seasoned Ateneo side that went on to claim its fifth straight UAAP title.
“Sa lahat ng naglalaro na UST sa D-League, malaking bagay sa amin ito at tulong. Experience na rin para sa amin ito,” Ferrer said.
The other Tigers who are playing for Blackwater Sports this conference are Louie Vigil, Paolo Pe, and Kim Lo, while Jeric Teng is seeing action for Informatics.
The improvements in Ferrer’s play should be a big boost for UST, which will be without Jeric Fortuna who has played his fifth and final year with the Tigers last season.
But Ferrer waved off suggestions that his offensive boost will make up for Fortuna's absence, vowing to just continue to be a good soldier to UST coach Pido Jarencio.
“Hindi ko iniisip ’yun. Kung ano kaya kong gawin at kung ano ang gustong ipagawa ni coach sa akin, defense o offense, gagawin ko,” said Ferrer.