Jeremiah Gray himself believes that he hasn’t earned enough credentials to be voted into the 2023 PBA All-Star Game in Passi, Iloilo next month.
But that’s not to say he isn’t going to prove himself worthy to be among the 24 players bannering the comebacking midseason spectacle.
“I don’t think I really earned it just yet, but Imma use this conference this time to make sure I solidify my spot,” he told reporters moments after helping Ginebra turn back NLEX to go 2-0 in the Governors’ Cup, Wednesday night.
Gray remained at 17th in the polls based on the second fan returns issued by the league the morning of their match with 146, 966 votes.
He’s one of the eight Gin Kings that are among the top 30 vote-getters for the ASG and that, for him, speaks volumes about how supportive their fans are.
“That just shows the Ginebra fans and the support they give,” said the Fil-Am combo guard, who was traded by Terrafirma to the league’s most popular ball club on draft night back in May of last year.
Then again, he knows that he has to validate his spot. And their comeback win against the erstwhile-unbeaten Road Warriors could be a good starting point.
Gray played his best game as a pro thus far with 19 points, scoring nine in the crowd darlings’ finishing 13-3 run to turn their fortunes around after trailing by seven, 101-108, with only 2:10 remaining in the game.
He shot 7-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also collected four rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 32 minutes.
“Probably. Maybe a little bit,” he said, smiling, when asked if his game would help his case. “But, we’ll see. Like I said, just gotta keep getting better each day, move on to the next game, we got NorthPort Friday so, keep moving on.”
Much of the talk has been about his possible All-Star selection but Gray is happier to have played at such a level, considering the journey he’s had.
The former TNT 3×3 star admitted treading a tough journey back to his usual no thanks to the ACL injury he suffered during his time in the halfcourt competitions in 2021, thus his elation to finally feel healthy again.
“The journey was very tough. Very tough for me. But I feel like it made me better, made me a lot more grateful, and luckily I have a good supporting cast with my family,” said the second overall pick of the 2022 class.
“And, a lot of my friends kept my thoughts and my morale up during that time when I was injured. I’m very blessed to get back. I’m still trying to get back to my athleticism and everything so I can dunk the ball again a little more.”
“But I just feel very blessed. It was very tough to come back. But I feel like it’s making me a better player, and making me appreciate the game a lot more.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.