Alvin Pasaol finally showed that his bucket-getting ways could translate well into the PBA when Meralco battled Alaska in Saturday’s Honda Philippine Cup 2021 action.
A burly forward who established himself as one of the best scorers in the UAAP as well as in the amateur ranks, the 26-year-old played a major role in the Bolts’ fourth quarter repelling of the Aces to collect the 89-80 victory.
Pasaol played for 13 minutes and finished with 13 points, 11 of which he made in the final period that saw him go 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
The Davao City-native attributed his outing — the best of his young career yet — to his always-ready mentality, although he admitted that he didn’t expect head coach Norman Black to have that kind of trust in him this early.
“Sa’kin naman ‘pag ipapasok ako ni Coach Norman, ready naman ako,” he told Tiebreaker Times. “‘Di ko rin expected na magtitiwala agad si Coach Norman sa game ko. Kasi siyempre di ba, scoring, tas ganun.
“Kasi siyempre, Meralco is system talaga sila, so nagulat din ako,” added the former University of the East King Warrior.
That trust of Black on him was seen when he brought in Pasaol just before the end of the third quarter, a time when Meralco was looking for offense as the Aces chopped down the Bolts’ 16-point lead to just four.
And he got just that thanks to the former PBA D-League standout, who even nailed two treys in the first three minutes of the final frame.
Pasaol only has nothing but immense gratitude for the wisdom and guidance of one of the most decorated figures in local basketball.
“Sobrang saya niya mag-coach, sobra yung knowledge na ibinibigay sa amin, sobrang talino niya … tutok siya sa’min. Tutok siya sa mga plays niya. Sobrang galing ni Coach Norman,” he expressed.
Still, the former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 star insisted that there remains more work to be done. As glad as he is to have proven that he could carry over his scoring prowess to the pros, defense is what he aims to put more premium on.
“Kailangan ko pa rin improve ‘yung defense. Yun talaga dapat. ‘Yun talaga iniimprove ko sa sarili ko. Magkaiba na ‘yung collegiate sa PBA,” said Pasaol, who had two rebounds, two steals, and a block versus Alaska.
“Kailangan mo talaga doblehin mo yung effort sa depensa, kasi maraming players na kailangan mong depensahan na magagaling e, at sa position ko sa tres, puro lahat scorer, so kailangan talaga,” he added.
“Kung ‘di ka maka-iskor kailangan din rin sila maka-iskor. Yun yung mentality ko this conference, siyempre para makatulong sa Meralco.”