Jeff Chan admitted he was dead tired shortly after his debut game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday night.
The left-handed Chan had an explosive first game for his new PBA team since being traded by Rain or Shine, finishing with a personal conference-high 27 points in a near-perfect 11-of-15 shooting, but Phoenix fell short, 104-107 against an undermanned Meralco squad in their Governors’ Cup match.
“Sabi ko nga kanina, for the past 8 or 9 years, sanay ako maglaro ng mga 20 to 25 minutes per game and honestly, napagod din ako,” Chan told FOX Sports after the game.
The “Negros Sniper” played 37 minutes in his first game for Phoenix, about 12 more than his usual average this season while spending his last 8 years with Rain or Shine.
But the 33-year-old gunner isn’t complaining, especially since Phoenix is still missing the services of Fil-Canadian rookie Matthew Wright, who is currently playing for Gilas.
However, Chan hopes he can quickly make his transition with Phoenix, while expecting to see a bump to his playing time with the Fuel Masters.
For one, the Fuel Masters slipped to 2-4 after failing to take care of their 15-point lead against a Meralco side that missed the services of injured Cliff Hodge, along with Baser Amer and Mike Tolomia, both loaned to the Gilas cadets for the Southeast Asian Games.
“Marami pang adjustments sa team. But we need to stay focused kahit na fourth straight loss na,” stressed Chan, who just over a week ago was traded by Rain or Shine to Phoenix in exchange for Mark Borboran and a future second-round pick.
Personally, Chan said he also needs to be careful with the basketball since he ruined his solid scoring with 7 turnovers.
“May mga times kasi na pinipilit ko din yung situation,” shared Chan. “May times nag-travel ako or nag-bad pass, kasi siyempre di ko pa kilala yung mga teammates ko.”
“Ngayon baon kami (down the standings) pero kailangan ipakita namin na lumalaban kami,” he added.
Chan said the next few days will be critical as the team prepares for a “killer stretch” with Phoenix facing unbeaten Star next Wednesday, followed by TNT on Aug. 25, before closing the month by going up against defending champion Barangay Ginebra.
“I hope mag-step up lahat. Kasi siyempre, sanay din ako sa spread yung scorers,” he said.
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