ARELLANO gunner John Pinto has drawn comparisons with former Far Eastern University point guard Denok Miranda, thanks to his stellar play with Arellano in the preseason.
Count Pinto's coach Koy Banal among those who have noticed the similarities in their games.
“’Yung leadership and court savvy niya, I can compare John Pinto to Denok,” said Banal, who also coached Miranda back when he was calling the shots for Far Eastern University in the late nineties.
But who’s better?
“Mas magaling nga siguro si John. Sorry Denok,” said Banal in jest.
Pinto is one of the main reasons why the unheralded Chiefs are enjoying an impressive campaign in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, where the team now stands at 5-2 in Group A, just behind undefeated leader National University (8-0).
The 5-11 guard from Davao banged in 17 points, nine of them in the fourth quarter, during a 67-66 win over NCAA heavyweight San Beda on Wednesday and dished out 14 assists in a recent game against Adamson.
Pinto, however, was quick to play down the comparisons with Petron guard Miranda.
“Nakakahiya naman kay Denok,” Pinto said.
Pinto admitted he looks up to Miranda and even met the now Petron point guard in one of Arellano’s practices.
“Idol ko ’yun, idol ko si Denok,” Pinto said, adding he got valuable advice from Miranda during their talk in practice.
“Noong naka-14 assists ako, sabi niya maganda ’yung mga laro mo, pinapayuhan niya ako na huwag ko hanapin ’yung score ko. Kasi may game ako against NU, hinahanap ko ’yung score ko kaya marami akong na-miss," Pinto said.
"Sabi niya, ‘Anong gusto mo? Maka-score ka ng marami na matatalo ang team o maraming assists pero mananalo?’”
Banal agrees with Miranda’s advice.
“All the teams are anticipating him na siya ang iiscore. Everybody is looking for him to score. So I told him to look for the open man. Then, he will be able to find an opening (to score),” said Banal.
Pinto is turning out to be a fast learner.
“First priority ko talaga pumasa kasi sabi ni coach, ako na ang tinitignan ng team kailangan ko sila i-guide,” said the 22-year-old.