Pao Javelona was left downcast Thursday night, after his GlobalPort Batang Pier’s hopes of upending the top-seeded Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals got foiled.
The Batang Pier were highly expected to replicate what they did back in Tuesday, when they came back from as much as 16 points down late in the third quarter to blow the Elasto Painters’ win-once incentive, 114-113.
Unfortunately, the odds didn’t go in their favor on Thursday, as their fightback from an 11-point deficit with 1:39 left to play fell short. They lost, 97-103, and that spelled the end of their run in this year’s mid-season conference.
But as much as he’s hurt with the defeat, Javelona actually provided something positive for the Batang Pier.
The 6-foot guard got fielded in for over 23 minutes, and Javelona shot his way towards a career-best 18 points on an excellent 7-of-9 shooting from the field — 3-of-4 from beyond the arc — along with two rebounds and a steal.
“Kailangang mag-step up kasi last game, na-scout na nila lalo na si Stan (Stanley Pringle) so ready lang ako. At least, maganda yung result,” said Javelona moments after their bout at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
But it turned out that it’s more than just stepping up for Javelona, who had only averaged 4.6 markers prior to Thursday.
“Siguro isa rin yun dun sa motivation ko na gusto kong patunayan yung sarili ko sa liga na ’to,” said the guard out of National University.
“Gusto kong respetuhin din ako dito so… Ayun, naging motivation ko rin yun.”
With what he had displayed on Thursday, the 25-year-old hopes that he has earned the trust of head coach Pido Jarencio. Moreover, Javelona believes that this outing of his will be a huge confidence-booster in the 2018 Governor’s Cup.
“Siguro unti-unti kasi nga bago lang ako ngayong conference. Unti-unti ko ng nakukuha yung tiwala ni coach, yung sistema rin naa-adapt ko na,” the one-time ABL champion said.
“So, going to the next conference playing like this eh magandang baon ito.”