Encho Serrano was coming off a spectacular campaign in the Chooks-to-Go NBL Chairman’s Cup that saw him lead Pampanga to the crown.
But just a week later, the 6-foot native of Pampanga was wearing a different jersey.
This time around, he is wearing the trademark red of Basilan-Jumbo Plastic Medical Depot in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational.
Coming from one winning team to another, the 6-foot guard out of La Salle acknowledges that there is pressure on him to deliver — especially after being hailed as the NBL’s Finals MVP.
The pressure though is something that he embraces, saying that it’s team-first in Basilan.
“For me, hindi ako masyadong naprepressure kasi naka-focus lang kami sa gusto naming mangyari. Ang role lang namin is madala yung team namin sa gusto naming puntahan.”
Serrano, along with Chooks-to-Go VisMin Visayas MVP Jaymar Gimpayan, only had a week to train with the team.
Serrano though was able to adjust quickly, churning norms of 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. His most spectacular game so far was during their quarterfinals-clinching game against Makati that saw him drop 29 points in an 80-79 victory.
The young combo guard shared that his performances are a testament to the freedom given to him by head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
“Nahirapan akong mag-adjust nung una kasi sistemado si Coach,” said Serrano. “Nung una, hindi ako makasabay, pero ngayon, nakakapaglaro na ko at pinapabayaan ako ni coach na ilabas yung laro ko. Pero nasa sistema pa rin.”
Cabiltes though is just glad that his new acquisitions were able to adjust well. This as they head to the knockout quarterfinals on Tuesday against Mindoro-EOG Burlington at 5:00 PM.
“Yung pumalit na players na dumating sa amin, nakapag-fill naman ng void sa mga nawala sa amin.”