511 Serrano impressive as always, but Uichico hopes he grows taller

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 16, 2017 08:56 PM
5'11
GROWTH SPURT. Already impressive, Encho Serrano could do so much more with just a little bit more height.

Just like he did in the tryouts, Encho Serrano proved himself to be the best among the best in the 2017 National Basketball Training Center All-Star Game.

Serrano rated as the top young talent when a group of coaches, scouts, scribes, and broadcasters were polled following the tryouts in late February.

In the All-Star Game itself, the Adamson High School standout more than lived up to the hype and scattered 17 points to go along with seven rebounds all while spearheading the North All-Stars in disposing of their South counterparts.

With many of his rebounds coming at the expense of taller players like Rhayyan Amsali, Sherwin Concepcion, and even Filipino-American Kamaka Hepa, Serrano received the highest of praises from his coach. “The kid is good. He is a rebounding guard and he could be like Scottie Thompson,” Jong Uichico said of his player who also took home All-Star Game MVP for all his trouble.

Thompson made a name for himself in the NCAA by racking up points-rebounds-assists triple-doubles. Most recently, he hauled in 18 rebounds for Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

And of course, the Pampanga native is nothing but humbled to be compared to a top-shelf talent like Thompson. “Salamat po kay coach Jong. Pagsisikapan ko po yung sinabi niya,” he said.

However, Uichico also had one wish for Serrano’s game to continue to improve. “I hope he grows taller,” he said.

Indeed, the 17-year-old is only listed at five-foot-11. He plays like a forward, but stands much like a guard.

Still, when that couldn’t be the case, the multi-titled mentor said the future looks as bright as ever for Serrano. “But if he doesn’t, he has the athleticism to make up for his lack of height,” he said.

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