Thursday afternoon was a gloomy one for the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers, as they saw their two-game winning run snapped by the Akari-Adamson Soaring Falcons. That loss, however, actually yielded lots of positives that they can be proud about.
One of those was yet another solid production from Filipino-American point guard Trevis Jackson, as he led the Coffee Lovers with a game-high 29 points on 54.3 percent shooting in the 85-92 setback.
“I don’t think kalaban namin St. Clare,” quipped Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren.
“Ang kalaban namin si Jackson.”
The game may had been a Trevis Jackson show, like Pumaren had said, but the 22-year-old didn’t grab the whole spotlight. He also tipped his hat to his teammates for giving Adamson a tough 40-minutes battle.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said Jackson after the match at the Ynares Pasig. “I’m just proud that we keep on fighting. The most important thing is we don’t quit. It’s all that matters.
“If you don’t quit, you always have a chance.”
Jackson has been the Coffee Lovers’ anchor this 2018 Aspirant’s Cup. So far, he’s averaging 22.0 points, 2.75 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Despite the figures, the 22-year-old still feels like he has yet to earn the respect of many.
“Honestly, I don’t think they respect me,” Jackson believes. “I just feel like they’ll come out ultra-aggressive against me. Maybe that’s a sign of respect? But sometimes, other coaches [are] talking to me, like, ‘Miss! miss!’ — yelling at me on the court and stuff.
“I can truly understand the game of basketball, but sometimes, a lot of guys take it outside of basketball, like they’ll throw elbows and all that stuff,” the floor general added.
“I don’t know if you wanna call that respect but I’m never gonna pay attention it. I just ignore it and play my game.”
Clearly, Jackson sees himself as an underdog despite the talent he possesses — very similar to St. Clare, a school that is trying to gain the respect of bigger schools. But Jackson has no qualms about being regarded this way.
“We understand at times that we’re underdogs but we use that as an advantage. We don’t mind coming in as underdogs, because that just means that when we’re ultra-aggressive, we have a chance to catch you off-guard,” he said.
He may be thinking that he has yet to be respected by his peers and the coaches in the league, but Jackson had actually found a believer in Pumaren, as the veteran mentor opined that Jackson is bound for the pros.
“The way he played, he played like a veteran. I think he’s PBA-ready.
“He’s matured enough compared to our players,” said Pumaren.
And with that, Jackson couldn’t help but gush.
“First off, thank you. I appreciate that,” Jackson expressed. “I have a lot of respect for Adamson and what they do. I even told them during the game, ‘Man, I love playing against you guys.’ That’s when they smiled at me, like, okay.
“Again, thank you. That’s probably one of the biggest compliments I’ve gotten since being here.”
Asked if he has aspirations of playing in the PBA one day, like what most of his fellow Fil-Ams have done, the Sacramento State product said yes, declaring that playing in Asia’s first pro league has always been a dream of his.
“Yeah, I came here with aspirations of playing in the PBA,” he said. “Now I just need to show them like, okay, I might not played a lot back home, but I can play.
“I just need to prove that, and that’s why I’m taking these games as an opportunity to do it and my teammates are doing a great job at helping me.”