COLOR Coach Leo Austria impressed.
On Tuesday's tune-up game against Rain or Shine, newly acquired rookie Wendell Comboy suited up for his first ever game with the San Miguel Beermen. The 6-foot guard got signed to a one-year contract with SMB a few weeks ago, after a commendable performance on the team tryouts that commenced on the first week of January.
“Based from what I’ve seen, he is a hard worker," Austria said of the ex-Far Eastern University star, who had been drafted last year but was left unsigned by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. "I've known Wendell since high school and he can play. In this tune up game, I’m happy for him kasi hindi siya ‘yung nangangapa pa, makikita mo na nakaka-adapt siya sa sistema namin."
Austria, however, challenged the rookie to keep up the pace for the Beermen’s future games.
“The potential is there so it’s up to him how to get into our rotation. We will see how he can sustain a game after substitutions during the actual game,” Austria added.
For the 22-year-old, playing his debut game with the team is a huge milestone. He's also took notes on how to improve his game as the grind continues.
“Sobrang sarap sa feeling kasi na-feel ko ‘yung pagiging professional PBA player ko, ‘yung pagiging part ko ng SMB. Blessing siya sa akin, pero sabi nga ni coach, ‘keep working hard’, at ituluy-tuloy ko lang,” Comboy shared with SPIN Life.
He continued: “Kailangan ko mag-improve pa sa decision-making kasi kahit mga split-second delay, malaking bagay dito sa pro-league, kaya kailangan matuto ako mag-react agad sa mga situations.”
San Miguel defeated Rain or Shine, 77-63, during the tune up match.
Comboy revealed that thanks to approachable teammates who also served as his team mentors, he was able to adapt smoothly to the SMB system.
He said: “Dito sa amin, hindi lang ako ‘yung tumutulong sa sarili ko dahil tinutulungan din ako ng mga beterano, especially sila kuya Terrence Romeo, kuya Alex Cabagnot, and si kuya Chris Ross. Malaking bagay ‘yung guidance nila sa akin. Confident ako kasi alam kong nandyan ‘yung mga kuya ko sa likod ko para magbigay ng lakas ng loob ko para magawa ‘yung role ko.”
Comboy has accepted his coach's challenge, and has vowed to pull in the extra effort needed for the PBA All-Filipino conference in March.
“Magiging efficient talaga ako kasi hindi ko naman masabi sa sarili ko kung mahaba ‘yung playing time ko, so quality minutes lang lagi, always ready, less than a month to work twice as hard,” he said.