Rookie Barkley Eboña gave a glimpse of how bright he can shine for Alaska, as he was at the forefront of the Aces’ 38-point demolition of Blackwater in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Tuesday night.
The Far Eastern University product finished with 24 points, missing all but one of his 11 shots from the field. He also collected two rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal in 24 minutes.
That, so far, is the highest scoring output of a rookie in this shortened season taking place inside the bubble in Clark. And for Eboña, the credit for his performance goes to his fellow Milkmen.
“Tinutulungan lang din ako ng teammates ko na i-build ‘yung confidence ko, at mai-apply ko sa game,” expressed the Aces’ fourth overall pick in last year’s regular draft in the walk-off interview.
“Gina-grab ko lang ‘yung opportunity na ‘yun and thankful ako na na-apply ko sa game ngayon.”
And with that confidence, Eboña — alongside the rest of Alaska — played inspired basketball versus the Elite.
The Aces are back in the win column following the dominant showing, but the victory meant more than that. For them, it was their way of honoring the injured forward Kevin Racal.
The 29-year-old defensive ace is set to leave the bubble tomorrow to start treading the road to recovery. He suffered a season-ending right anterior cruciate ligament injury on opening day last Oct. 11.
Eboña, just like everyone else on the team, feels sad to see him go, but he understands. And he’s happy that they were able to give Racal the best gift they could before he goes back home.
“Nakaka-disappoint kasi aalis na siya. Maganda sana ‘yung samahan namin. Pero, ganun talaga,” he said.
“Masaya lang ako na bago siya makaalis bukas, nanalo kami para sa kanya.”