FROM back-up to a main offensive option.
Paolo Pontejos justified his transfer from Mendiola to Mandaluyong when the 22-year-old former San Beda guard delivered the goods in his first game for Jose Rizal University in an 83-72 win over Mapua on Monday in the 89th NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Pontejos, a San Beda third-stringer behind stars Garvo Lanete and Baser Amer, had 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, and three steals in his debut as a Heavy Bomber at The Arena in San Juan and was happy to finally step out of the shadows.
“Naisip ko kasi na hindi naman pwede 'yung lagi na lang akong nasa baba,” he said to Spin.ph afterwards. “Try ko naman na nasa taas ako.”
Heavy Bombers coach Vergel Meneses said Pontejos is one the players he can count on during crunch time.
But the marketing major isn’t taking the sole credit.
“Hindi ko iniisip `yung i-iskor. Basta ako ready lang every game,” said Pontejos. “Bonus na lang kung ako ang hahanapin ni coach pag crunch time.”
“Thankful ako sa tiwala pero tulungan kami as a team,” he added. “Ang goal ko personally ay maging consistent, kasi target namin Final Four. Pero one game at a time kami.”
Pontejos was a part of the 2011 San Beda team that won the NCAA championship. And now that he’s with JRU, he wants to bring that same winning tradition to the Heavy Bombers.