Blackwater head coach Nash Racela admitted that Maurice Shaw has yet to get himself in tip-top shape, hence Shaw’s limited minutes during their 2020 PBA Philippine Cup opener versus NorthPort on Monday.
The second pick in last year’s regular draft was among the latecomers to the bubble. He only arrived in Manila days before the Bossing and some of the other ball clubs departed for the Clark Freeport Zone.
“To tell you honestly, si Maurice, he’s not in very good condition.
“Siya ‘yung aming latest addition sa bubble, and he was very honest na wala pa siya sa kondisyon,” Racela said in a PBA media availability session, Tuesday.
The 35-year-old only played a total of 10 minutes and 54 seconds off the bench while the coaching staff tried to manage his minutes given his status.
“Going to the game, we had apprehensions of using him,” confessed the veteran bench tactician. “That’s why last night, I think we only used him for ten minutes. Talagang in and out.
“And we were very conscious in playing him, mga two to three minutes lang every time papasok siya — so kumbaga, mga two to three-minute stretches lang.”
Shaw only registered two points and two rebounds, but Racela feels satisfied with how he played. He even lauded Shaw for his efforts especially in the first half, when Blackwater came back from a slow 4-15 start into the match.
The Elite eventually got going in the third, exploding for 41 points. They then withstood a tough stand by the Batang Pier late in the game to come out with the 96-89 victory.
“We liked what we saw. Actually, he was the one who triggered the comeback in the first half. Maurice Shaw, Mac Belo, Matt Salem, Mike Tolomia, and Ed Daquioag — those five guys that made the run. Maurice Shaw was part of that.
“‘Yung intensity niya [nandoon]. And that’s a glimpse of what he can do for us when he’s in tip-top condition,” said Racela, who had a successful return to the PBA after two years.
How will Shaw be in the succeeding games, Racela said: “It depends on how well we manage him. Well, hindi lang siya. He’s a concern now, but of course lahat ng player. Depends on how well we manage them.”