Hesitation is not in Nico Elorde’s vocabulary.
The 5-foot-10 floor general hit the biggest of shots on Wednesday night to help the GlobalPort Batang Pier come back and stun reigning Commissioner’s Cup champions San Miguel Beermen, 98-94, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With the game tied at 92-all with 1:33 remaining, Elorde turned Stanley Pringle’s kickout pass to an assist by swishing in a cold-blooded triple with 48 ticks left, giving GlobalPort a three-point advantage that they never gave up.
“Titira ko talaga yun, everyday ko naman ginagawa yun,” said Elorde moments after the victory, which snapped the Batang Pier’s two-game skid and improved their win-loss record to 4-3.
“Sabi ni Stan ready lang so pagka-kickout niya, tira.”
Even Batang Pier head coach Pido Jarencio was all praises for the former Ateneo Blue Eagle, who finished the match with six points, seven rebounds, and five assists in nearly 32 minutes of action.
“Credit to the players at the same time si Nico Elorde for making that three-point shot,” said the veteran bench strategist. “‘Di maganda laro niya the whole game pero he hit the big shot.
Elorde, for his part, is nothing but grateful for the trust Jarencio has in him.
“Siguro sobrang tiwala lang si coach Pido, nagpapasalamat ako dun. Kasi buong game medyo struggle ako, ‘di ko makuha timing eh,” admitted the 33rd overall pick in the 2015 Draft. “Pero nandun pa rin ako sa loob, so kailangan ready lang.
“Yun dumating yung chance.”
The victory was made all the more sweet because the Batang Pier pulled through in the end despite losing import Malcolm White due to technical fouls. White was thrown out with 8:09 after incurring his second tech in the match.
The import left the match with 25 points and eight rebounds.
“Siyempre malaking bagay si Malcolm, sabi ko nga sa ref na parang bakit ganun binigay mo na yung laro sa kanila. Pero kailangan stay together lang kami at depensa talaga nagpanalo sa’min,” said the 26-year-old Elorde.
“Basta nasa loob ka, may chance ka makabawi.”