Evan Nelle was off from the field, shooting just two of eight for San Beda University in their matchup opposite Jose Rizal University, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
More particularly, the second-year guard who is a known knockdown shooter, only made good on two of his seven shots from deep.
And so, showing much-welcome maturity, Nelle turned his attention on helping his team another way.
"Bad game for me eh. Honestly, hindi ako maka-shoot so nag-create na lang ako para sa teammates ko kasi sila, nakaka-shoot," he said.
He did that, and more, even threatening to top Jiovani Jalalon's record for assists in a game at 16. "Yun naman talaga ang trabaho ko eh: to pass," he said.
Just at halftime, the 21-year-old had 11 dimes to his name. "We thought na yung 11 assists niya (at halftime), magiging record-breaking na, but we missed shots nung second half," head coach Boyet Fernandez said.
He would only be able to add three more from that point, but nonetheless, there is no doubt it was his 14 assists that keyed the Red Lions' back-to-back wins to begin their title defense.
And for Coach Boyet, this is just the start for their playmaker. As he put it, "One day, he'll be one of the best point guards in college and hopefully in the future, the PBA."
He then continued, "He's good. He has to bulk up a bit lang kasi payat."
Of course, Nelle's mentor knows what he's talking about as back in his playing days, the latter was one of the best playmakers in all of the PBA.
For his part, though, the promising point guard is just returning the full faith that his coaches, his teammates, and the San Beda community have in him. "It's a privilege to be a starter for San Beda. Nagpapasalamat ako kay coach na pinagkakatiwalaan niya ako," he shared.
He then continued, "Tapos when my teammates are making their shots din, mas madali mag-create. So basically, I just have to do my job."
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