PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR—Homegrown player Jayvee Ansaldo just had the best two-game span of his life for Basilan BRT in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge.
He was activated last Sunday for the first time this conference and he did not disappoint.
The proud son of Isabela, Basilan was inserted in the fourth quarter with Pagadian pulling away, and he pulled the Peace Riders back.
Ansaldo tallied 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field to go with three rebounds and a steal. He was also a plus-seven in the game Basilan dropped, 65-77.
And on Tuesday night, he made sure to turn his production to a much-needed win for the Peace Riders, who were riding a six-game skid.
The 5-foot-8 gunslinger went for a game-high 15 points on a perfect 8-of-8 clip from the line with six rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block to lead Basilan to a 65-63 victory over BYB Kapatagan.
That performance earned him his very-first Chooks-to-Go Manok ng Bayan best player of the game honors.
Head coach Ron Jalmanzar bared after the match that using Ansaldo in big minutes against the Buffalos was all planned ahead.
“Kahapon pa lang minomotivate na namin siya, nire-ready na namin ang mindset niya. Sabi ko gagamitin ka namin kaya nakapaghanda ‘yung bata,” said the head tactician.
“Focused lang po ako palagi sa laro kahit nasa bench ako. Dapat disiplinado lang palagi, always ready lang sa game,” said the 27-year-old combo guard.
Jalmanzar said that the coaches always knew of what Ansaldo can bring, it’s just a matter of timing when he can be activated.
This as the Peace Riders are loaded with impressive guards in Jorem Morada, Nikko Panganiban. Ar-raouf Julkipli, Cedric De Joya, and Junjie Hallare.
“Talagang matagal na namin siyang gusto gamitin. Alam na namin ‘yung laro niya eh.
“Kaso sa mga laro mayroon kami kailangan laging tapatan din. Ngayon nakita namin na kailangan namin siya kaya ayun buti maganda ‘yung performance ng bata,” said the head coach.
And with that huge victory that stopped the bleeding for the Peace Riders, they have strengthened their hold of the sixth spot at 4-6 and put themselves in the position to go up in the standings.
Pagadian is just half a game away at 5-6, while Roxas is at 5-5 and currently on a two-game skid.
Basilan will cap its elimination round schedule with games against the Vanguards and Zamboanga Sibugay on Thursday and Friday, respectively.