Chito Victolero and Magnolia have been waiting for rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi to turn in a breakout performance for all the work he’s been putting in.
It finally came on Friday.
The 10th overall pick fired 15 points — all in the fourth quarter — to help the Hotshots drub Terrafirma, 105-83, for a 4-0 start in the Honda PBA Philippine Cup 2021.
Ahanmisi shot 5-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. And his performance made his head coach beam with pride.
“Actually hinihintay talaga namin breakout game ni Jerrick,” said Victolero moments after the match at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“For the last three games, hinihintay talaga namin ‘yan because maganda ‘yung ineensayo niyan and maganda ang attitude niya.”
Looking back, some wondered why Magnolia added another guard by picking Ahanmisi in last March’s draft. Victolero, though, defended their decision.
According to the former Coach of the Year, they chose the Adamson product to address the need for a pure shooter who could space the floor.
And on Friday, the 23-year-old showed just that.
“Talagang binibigyan niya ng oras ‘yung shooting niya,” said Victolero, who utilized Ahanmisi for over 22 minutes versus the Dyip.
It is also a big help for the younger brother of Alaska guard Maverick that he has the guidance of stars Paul Lee and Mark Barroca.
“At the same time, gina-guide siya nina Paul and Mark kasi ‘yung bata, he’s only 23 years old,” Victolero said.
“We want him to become our future sana.”
Now, the young bench tactician hopes that Ahanmisi can keep this level of play as the all-local conference progresses.
“Hopefully tuloy-tuloy na ang game ni Jerrick. Nakakuha na siya ng bwelo ngayon kaya sana, dere-deretso na.”