PAGADIAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — The light is green for Judel Fuentes in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao Challenge.
This as Pagadian head coach Gherome Ejercito gives all the confidence to his longtime ward to shoot away.
“Kaya nandito si Judel, iiskor talaga ito para sa amin,” said Ejercito.
And Fuentes had his biggest scoring night in the early goings of the conference Monday night against Zamboanga Sibugay at the Pagadian City Gymnasium here.
The Centro Escolar University product delivered 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field boosted by four triples alongside five rebounds, two steals, and a block.
A bunch of those points – nine to be exact – happened in the game-changing run in the third period.
Leading by just two, Fuentes’ rare four-point play alongside efforts from Glenn Acaylar and John Quimado resulted in 16 unanswered points for the Explorers to build an 18-point lead, 81-63.
“Positive lang lagi ang mindset namin,” said Chooks-to-Go Manok ng Bayan player of the game Fuentes.
“Kinailangan namin makabawi mula sa talo namin sa Iligan noong Sunday kaya nag-adjust kami,” he added, citing their 90-92 defeat against the Archangels.
Being the second leading scorer of Pagadian, Fuentes credited Ejercito for his hot shooting streak.
“Nagpapasalamat ako kay Coach Gherome na binigyan niya ako ng playing time, ginamit niya ako, na may tiwala siya sa akin,” said Fuentes, who has been with Ejercito since 2019.