NARD Pinto is having a renaissance in this year’s edition of the PBA Governors’ Cup, thanks to his improvement — earning for himself a starting guard role for the Blackwater Elite.
With the Elite posting their best record in quite a while, much of their success can be credited to Pinto’s performance, and you can thank his shooting touch for that.
His numbers skyrocketed across the board — from notching norms of 4.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists on 16.2 minutes of playing time last Commissioner’s Cup to tallying averages of 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game on 28.4 minutes per contest in this Governors’ Cup.
Most notably, the former Arellano Chief has shot extremely well from the field — leading the league by shooting around 65-percent from deep and overall, which is quite unexpected given that he’s bounced around the league before.
Pinto started his career playing for the Batang Pier after he was selected 19th overall in the 2014 PBA Draft. He also played for the Mahindra Enforcer in the 2015-2016 PBA season and would soon found his way to the Blackwater franchise, albeit through the D-League at first.
“As far as I remember, Pinto tried out for our team and he was a member of our D-League team that’s why we know how he plays already,” recalled Blackwater assistant Patrick Aquino in an online interview with FOX Sports PH.
“He was a strong and gutsy point guard, but he lacked maturity back then,” added the amiable coach.
Eager to prove that he belongs in the PBA, Pinto worked extremely hard to hone his craft as he would be seen doing extra effort before and after practice — particularly on his outside shooting. Slowly but surely, the coaching staff then took notice of his work ethic and would soon give him a chance.
“Yes, he has been really trying his best just to prove that he belongs in the PBA. He does extra effort before and after practice. Soon, his maturity and confidence developed to the point that we made him the go-to guy for our team and we know that he can take us to the next level,” shared Aquino.
Not only did his improved stroke elevate his game, the mere presence of resident import Henry Walker has made it easier for the 28-year-old floor general. And with Pinto approaching his prime, the Blackwater brass are feeling upbeat on their chances for the foreseeable future.
“Actually he just needed his confidence and we know that he can shoot and go hard at the basket. With the help of Henry Walker, I think he developed his consistency and confidence,” said Aquino.