MAKE way for another Pampanga product who could just be the missing piece to Arellano’s title bid.
After making waves in the preseason, Lervin Flores didn't disappoint in his NCAA debut, scoring eight points and, more importantly, grabbing 13 boards and blocking two shots in the Chiefs' 83-78 win over Perpetual Help.
The 6-foot-5 find from Masantol, Pampanga turned heads in the offseason, particularly during the finals of the Filoil Preseason Cup where he held his ground against La Salle big man Ben Mbala.
The 23-year-old from a province that produced PBA stars like Arwind Santos, Calvin Abueva and Ato Agustin showed his preseason performance was no fluke as he again had a solid outing against a much-taller Prince Eze of Perpetual.
Flores, though, was quick to play down his impressive showing.
“Sinasabihan lang ako ng mga coaches na trabaho lang. ‘Yun lang,” said the well-built Arellano rookie who nonetheless earned praise from head coach Jerry Codinera.
“He is another big guy who has ability to defend dominant bigs," said Codinera.
Arellano star point guard Jiovani Jalalon also added that Flores' knack for getting the offensive boards has made the Chiefs more confident and aggressive on offense.
"Alam ko naman na ginagawa nila trabaho nila na makakuha ng rebound," said Jalalon.
But while he takes in the praise from his coach and teammates, Flores keeps his focus on doing his role and putting in the work, taking into heart what Jalalon told him the moment he came to the team.
“Simula pa lang, sinasabi niya (Jalalon) na magsipag lang ako,” said the soft-spoken Flores.