Ferrer grateful to Cone for getting extended minutes v Mahindra

Given an extended playing time by Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone on Friday night, rookie Kevin Ferrer made sure he won’t disappoint.

The 6-foot-3 Ferrer showed a glimpse of what he’s truly capable of doing as he stood tallest in the Kings’ strong finish on the way to a solid 89-70 win over the hapless Mahindra in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.

Ferrer drilled in a pair of triples that highlighted his career-high 12-point performance in the final frame where the Gin Kings exploded for 34 markers—two more than their entire output in the first half—as they pulled away from the Floodbuster with ease.

The former University of Santo Tomas star also contributed on the defensive end as he stopped a streaking Mahindra rookie Russell Escoto’s lay-up attempt.

He also kept himself in one page with fellow rookies—Jammer Jamito and Jericho De Guzman—during Ginebra’s fourth-quarter storm.

“Masaya, kasi binigyan kami ng opportunity ni coach Tim so grinab naming mga rookies. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa mga teammates ko kasi sila yung nagpu-push sa akin na tumira ka lang, basta libre yun. Binibigyan nila ako ng kumpiyansa,” said Ferrer in a quick chat with sports scribes at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum hallway.

“Sa tingin ko binigyan rin kami ng experience ni coach Tim para maglaro ng end game, so happy naman na na-defend namin ‘yung lead.”

It was also a reunion of sorts inside the court with fellow Growling Tigers, Aljon Mariano of Ginebra and Mahindra’s Jeric Teng. But Ferrer was more focused on keeping his focus on the task at hand.

“Parang wala, kasi laro lang. Ako naman ‘yung prinsipyo ko, kung kalaban ka, kalaban ka. ‘Pag sa labas naman ng court magka-kaibigan tayo, trabaho lang,” said the Makati City native, adding he’s proud to see his fellow young guns live up to Cone’s expectations.

“Pagsunod sa sistema ni coach Tim, masaya din ako na nakikita ko na kasama ako sa pag-make ng ball movement. Masaya ako na nakikitang sumu-shoot ‘yung teammates ko.”

Ferrer, however, feels he still has to earn Cone’s trust more.

“Konti pa lang, pero kailangan pa mag-earn. Hindi naman ako titigil sa paglalaro, kung anong trust man ni coach Tim sa akin. Bibigyan ko siya ng reason na ibalik sa akin ‘yung pinapakita ko, ‘yung na-earn ko (na trust).” –Jerome Lagunzad

Follow this writer on Twitter: @BudoyLagunzad