Sophomore forward Michael Calisaan is seizing the opportunity to showcase his abilities now that he’s with Phoenix Super LPG.
On Thursday, the 26-year-old contributed solidly in the Fuel Masters’ streak-busting 96-84 win over Terrafirma. He finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, alongside seven rebounds in over 18 minutes.
The 6-foot-4 winger was part of the first five together with Matthew Wright, Jason Perkins, Chris Banchero, and Justin Chua, the third time that he has started in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
“Mike, he knows his role coming into this team. His teammates trust him a lot. And he does all the things, you know… He does a lot of the dirty work on our team,” said head coach Topex Robinson after the match.
“And true enough, that we want to reward him and his teammates are rewarding him with those passes. And I guess with Mike, he’s just taking advantage of the opportunity that’s been given to him,” he added.
It was the most productive outing Calisaan has had thus far with his new team, an indication of how badly he’s been wanting to strut his stuff on the court.
He did not have much exposure during his first two years in the pros with Magnolia. He was the Hotshots’ 10th pick in 2018, but hardly played. Calisaan only played for a total of 16 games with his old team.
He did not receive a renewal when his contract expired earlier this year. But an opportunity knocked on his door when offered with a tryout for Phoenix.
Now, here he is, starting to earn his minutes under the same coach that recruited him to go to San Sebastian College-Recoletos back in 2014. And Thursday was further proof that the Fuel Masters made the right decision to sign him.
“With Mike kasi … He may not be getting any touches on offense, but he will do something on defense – keeping the ball alive, getting those rebounds, making those stops,” said the youthful mentor.
“Together with that, he’s gonna make mistakes. He struggled a bit but we kept on playing him, because again, he always makes his teammates look better. So I guess that’s the factor that Mike brings to us,” he continued.
“Even if he doesn’t score, he’s gonna do whatever he is that’s he’s been told, and more. He brings so much more.”