For all of his pro career, JP Erram has only been with one team, the Blackwater Elite.
The fifth-year big man has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions with the Ever Bilena-owned franchise. From stunning upsets to season-ending injuries, Erram has been through almost everything — except experiencing the highest of highs.
In the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup so far, the Elite have been exorcising their demons. To close out the year, Blackwater was finally able to end its skid in the Cuneta Astrodome while grabbing their first win against Rain or Shine in 11 tries. The Elite followed it up by starting 2018 with a bang as they defeated favorites Barangay Ginebra Kings for the first time in the Philippine Cup.
And this is just a sign of things to come according to Erram.
“Mas aggressive kami,” shared the 6-foot-8 center when asked about the difference between this team compared to year’s past. “Yun nga bata, so unpredictable. Yung effort namin nandun e, ma-effort talaga kami, dun kami nagdadagdag masyado kasi mga bata pa, fresh legs pa.
“Tsaka malaki pa ang i-iimprove namin kasi nga mga bata pa kami.”
Erram was able to stand his ground against the tall Ginebra frontline of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, finishing with 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.
“Malaking pampataas ng confidence para sa akin kasi syempre teammates kami tapos magkalaban na, tapos ayun nga, against them nanalo kami,” added Erram, who used to play with Slaughter in Ateneo. “Hindi naman sa ano pero ang laking tulong sa akin kasi magkakampi kami dati tapos magkalaban na.
“Tapos yung caliber ni Greg hindi basta basta kasi naglaro siya sa Gilas so ang laking, marami akong natutunan sa match-up na yun.”
With a 2-1 slate and beating contenders Rain or Shine and Ginebra, Erram believes that they can continue to shock the rest of the league if they continue playing with the same mindset.
“Para sa akin, hindi kami nabigyan dati ng importansya so nothing to lose.”
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