Not even a semis loss dampened the spirits of Encho Serrano and Ginebra from finishing the PBA 3×3 Second Conference Grand Finals with a bang.
While he admitted that bowing to eventual champions Pioneer was a tough pill to swallow, the talented guard made sure that the Barangay would remain locked in despite being relegated to the third-place game versus TNT.
The Gin Kings did listen to him. They beat the Tropang Giga by way of a 21-16 decision to secure a podium finish – and Php 100,000 as well.
“Siyempre masakit ‘yung nangyari sa amin sa semis, natalo kami. Pero sinabi ko sa kanila na kunin natin ‘yung third place kasi malaking bagay pa rin para sa atin yun,” he said after the awarding ceremonies at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The focus was on the halfcourt competitions but Serrano disclosed that their primary source of motivation, really, was the PBA Season 47 Draft.
“Apat kaming papa-draft sa isang team,” he said. “So, ‘yun, sabi ko simula rito, simulan na natin pagtapos nito. Dapat ready na tayo ‘pag magpapa-draft na tayo. Ready tayo ‘pag magte-training na tayo sa ibang team.”
The Kapampangan cager had already submitted his application just recently, together with teammate Jollo Go. Forwards Mark Dyke and Jayson David, on the other hand, have also thrown their names in the draft as well.
Serrano said that his decision did not just come from himself, but from the advice of those close to him – including Pampanga governor Delta Pineda.
“Hindi naman lang sa akin na ‘yung desisyon. Sabi ko kailangan ko ng guidance, so nagtanong-tanong ako kung pwede na ba ako magpa-draft.
“Sinasabi naman nila na, ‘O sige pwede ka na magpa-draft.’ Maganda naman daw ‘yung nilalaro ko. Although hindi ko naman nakikita ‘yun, pero siyempre hindi mo pwede itatak sa isip mo ‘yun e,” said the reigning NBL-Pilipinas MVP.
“Gawin mo lang motivation. Kailangan magtuloy-tuloy lang,” the 22-year-old out of De La Salle University furthered.
Despite downplaying his solid PBA 3×3 showing, the decorated amateur felt satisfied with his campaign, believing that he was able to give his best.
“Siguro, kasi biinigay mo naman ‘yung best mo e. Once na binigay mo ‘yung best mo, para sa sarili mo, sapat na ‘yun, ‘di ba? Walang pagsisisi,” said Serrano.
“Sobrang thankful ko kasi Ginebra ‘yung kumuha sa akin. Tapos nag-training ako kay Coach Kirk Collier, marami akong natutunan sa kanya. So siguro, mas ma-aapply ko ‘yun pagdating ko sa PBA.”
Would he want to be picked by Ginebra?
“Siyempre. Dream team po ‘yan eh,” said Serrano, who witnessed live the Barangay’s conquest of Meralco to reassert its kingship of the Governors’ Cup just last week.
“Si Lord na ‘yung bahala kung saan po ako mapupunta.”