This time around, it was SMB cheering AVO from bench

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 06, 2017 10:28 PM
This time around, it was SMB cheering AVO from bench
THE OTHER WAY AROUND. The San Miguel Beermen were in full support of Arnold Van Opstal as he scored his first career points in the PBA.

With June Mar Fajardo holding down the fort and Gabby Espinas and Jay-R Reyes backstopping him, San Miguel’s frontline is all good.

As such, there isn’t much opening for Arnold Van Opstal to make his mark.

“I keep on telling him every game, be patient, your time will come,” coach Leo Austria said, talking about his rookie center.

Van Opstal’s time finally came in the final frame of the Beermen’s matchup with Blackwater on Friday. With under three minutes to go, he scored the first two points of his professional career.

“Thanks to Chris Ross. Shoutout to him, he passed me the ball and I just made my move,” he expressed while smiling ear-to-ear afterward.

From that first basket, the Filipino-German added four more points to his name to wind up with six points and one rebound in two minutes and 34 seconds on the court.

Each and every time Van Opstal sent the ball through the net, the San Miguel players on the bench were up and about in cheering for him. Nothing but appreciative to see that, he expressed, “I love my teammates. They’re really cool guys and I’m really lucky to be on this team.”

Of course, having difficulty in breaking through the logjam of bigs in front of him in the rotation, it’s the six-foot-nine rookie who usually finds himself cheering for his teammates. And he has no problem with that at all as he said, “I have a great group of guys here and it’s fun for me, even if I’m playing or not, I’m still having fun cheering guys on.”

He then continued, “Whether I’m on the court or not, I’m just here to give positive energy to the guys so we could come up with a win.”

Van Opstal then went on to say that having the right attitude is a must especially on a team of high-character guys like the Beermen. “All these guys have names and they’re just so down-to-earth, they’re just so accepting and inviting. That was a learning process (for me) in the sense that the reason they’re so successful is because they don’t let their egos in the way,” he shared.

That is exactly why the rookie isn’t expecting more minutes just yet. As he put it, “Whether I get more minutes or not, it doesn’t matter to me.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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