JERRICK Ahanmisi is adapting quickly to the new Adamson program and with several fellow Filipino-American recruits on the Falcons pool, he is feeling right at home.
The 18-year-old Ahanmisi is expected to play a crucial role for the rebuilding Falcons under head coach Franz Pumaren.
The 6-foot-2 combo guard is fresh from his stint with Village Christian High School in California, where he had his best year as a junior by averaging 9.7 points, 3.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in the 2013-2014 season, according to maxpreps.com.
“We have a lot of Fil-Ams in the team and it kinda make me comfortable right now,” Ahanmisi said
Head coach Franz Pumaren said four Fil-Ams are currently part of the pool, and he is expecting a few more to formally commit to the Falcons.
Ahanmisi is already eligible to play for the Falcons in Season 79 opening in September, and said he already feels comfortable with Pumaren's trapping defensive system.
“Even though he runs a system, he also allows you to play freely and he lets you do whatever to help the team win.”
Ahanmisi is making the switch much earlier compared to brother Maverick, who moved to the Philippines after playing for NCAA Division I school Minnesota. Maverick was a first-round PBA pick of Rain or Shine after going through the PBA D-League.
The younger Ahanmisi said his brother’s decision to play in the Philippines, as well as Filipinos’ passion for basketball, weighed heavily in his deecision to take his act to the Philippines.
“I watched my brother in the D-League and in the PBA. I also watched a couple of UAAP games. I decided to come here because of the crowd and how much they love basketball,” Jerrick said.
“Every game, he watches me. He always critiques me, what I do wrong and what I do right. He just tells me that Philippine basketball is a different kind of game. It’s more physical and more aggressive so I have to adjust to it,” he said.
Maverick said he supports his brother’s decision to play in the Philippines, adding that he is already seeing improvement in Jerrick’s game.
“He is family so I’m just glad to see that he is doing what he loves to do. I’m here and I’m going to support him whatever path he chooses,” said the Rain or Shine rookie guard.
“He likes playing for Coach Franz. He tried out for other schools. He liked them too but he didn’t seem as comfortable as coach with the Fil-Ams that they have. He feels right at home,” he added.
“He’s playing better than when he first got here. He is getting used to the physicality. But he is still a freshman. They are going to keep working on him to get better. No matter what, I trust coach Franz."
Pumaren has high hopes for his Fil-Am recruit.
“They talk to me all the time and what he needs to work on. I’ll just keep on supporting him and hopefully, he plays well,” said Pumaren.