A large part of Barangay Ginebra’s Friday night crowd rose on its feet as Kings coach Tim Cone called up rookie Jammer Jamito to check in for the first time and replace forward Aljon Mariano with the result already beyond doubt.
For many, a four-minute, 42-second exposure is a relatively short playing time. But for the 6-foot-4 Basud, Camarines Norte native, it’s already enough to realize his childhood dream.
The lefty Jamito was one of the young bloods that Cone fielded in the Kings’ strong windup that led to an 89-70 victory over the Mahindra Floodbuster in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Friday night.
The St. Clare College product made the most of his stint, piling up four points in four attempts while adding three assists and a rebound as he did his ample share in Ginebra’s blazing finish on the way to an even 2-2 mark.
“Masaya po kasi pangarap ng mga player ‘yan na makapaglaro. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa opportunity na binigay sa akin kanina ni coach Tim,” said a grateful Jamito, adding he’s also left in awe with the warm reception he gained from the ‘Kabarangays.’
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga fans ng Barangay Ginebra dahil ganun po ‘yung pagtanggap nila sa akin.”
Not even his defensive breakdown that led to Mahindra guard Reden Celda’s layup following his first bucket—off a hook shot from 10 feet out—could deter the 26-year-old Jamito’s relatively solid Ginebra debut.
“Siguro mga ganun bagay matututunan ko kapag tumagal na ako dito sa PBA. Next time mako-correct ko na ‘yun,” he said. – Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @BudoyLagunzad