Overlooked Bong Quinto ready to improve and learn in Meralco
MANILA, Philippines – The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft saw its fair share of twists and turns from start to finish.
New UP Fighting Maroons legend Paul Desiderio skyrocketed straight to NLEX at 4th while D-League star Trevis Jackson followed him up at 5th to the Meralco Bolts despite plenty of mock drafts telling otherwise.
With predictions already ruined halfway through the first round, things got even more surprising after Letran's triple-double machine Bong Quinto slipped down straight to the 14th pick of the Bolts in the second round.
Quinto's partner-in-crime and point guard JP Calvo was even picked ahead of him at 11th by the Columbian Dyip – also another draft day twist.
Still, the former Letranite star was wearing his usual smile long after the festivities concluded as he shared what he immediately needs to improve on under the tutelage of coaching great Norman Black.
"Kailangang maging mabilis ako kasi' di ba medyo [mabagal ako] pero kaya ko namang mag-adjust sa ibibigay sakin nina coach Norman," he said. "Mag-a-adjust ako para sa kanila."
(I need to be faster because I'm a little bit slow. But I know I can adjust to the role that coach Norman will give me. I will adjust for them.)
With the speedy and agile Jackson already expected to boost the Bolts' tempo, Quinto now adds a level of old-school bully-ball from the backcourt with an all-around touch of rebounding, playmaking and shooting.
Although the former NCAA champion was picked lower than most expected, he simply shut off the noise before the big day, which paid off to calm his weeks-long jitters.
"Siyempre naman, sobrang [kaba], alam mo 'yun? Gaya nga ng sabi ko, ayokong mag-expect sa kung ano man 'yung mga lumalabas eh," he said.
(Of course I was so nervous, you know? Like what I said, I didn’t want to expect with whatever was coming out.)
"Pinick ako nina coach Norman at 'yun na 'yun. Tapos na 'yun. Kung ano man nangyari today, sobrang pinagpapasalamat ko din sa Panginoon na magkaroon ako ng chance. Ngayon, may chance ako sa Meralco."
(I was picked by Coach Norman and that’s that. Whatever happened today, I’m just thankful to the the Lord that I had a chance. Now, I have that chance with Meralco.)
The ever-humble college star also held no ill will against the teams who passed up on him and said he was ready to showcase what the NCAA already saw and admired out of him.
"May mga system kasi sila, so sa tingin ko hindi siguro ako nag-fit sa system nila kaya mas pinili nila 'yung iba kaysa sa akin,” he said. "Wala naman akong sama ng loob. Sobrang thankful ako na nandito ako sa Meralco."
(They have their systems and maybe I didn't fit with them so they chose others over me. I don't feel bad about that. I'm just thankful that I'm here with Meralco.)
Much like their name, the Bolts are all about finding that needed spark on and off the court. Bong Quinto just gave them a steady stream of energy that they would definitely love from Day 1. – Rappler.com