Ralph Cu didn’t expect to log extended minutes in Barangay Ginebra’s gritty win over Blackwater in Sunday night’s PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup action.
After seeing action for an average of six minutes in his first three games in the league, the rookie forward played for a total of 16 minutes and 28 seconds and assumed a key role in the Kings’ 90-87 come-from-behind victory.
“Yes, nagulat ako,” he admitted moments after the match at the Philsports Arena in Pasig. “‘Di ko ine-expect na aabot ako ng ganoong minutes.”
The reigning conference champions didn’t have Jamie Malonzo due to mouth and wrist injuries but Cu was more than just a void filler.
Head coach Tim Cone sung praises for the decision-making of the La Salle product, especially his ability to make good reads and passes.
Cu had two assists in the win, which included a nifty cross-court pass to a cutting Maverick Ahanmisi to tie the game at 54-all with 7:27 to go in the third.
“His demeanor is fantastic for a guy coming off the bench. He’s just a super nice guy. He’s quiet. But he’s got a good eye,” he said. “He sees the court really well, makes nice passes. Makes really good decisions.”
Cu finished with only a rebound to his name but that was crucial. Not only did he save the Barangay’s possession but it also led to another assist, that time to Tony Bishop who made both of his foul shots to make it an 88-85 lead.
For the former PBA 3×3 standout, it’s all about doing the little things and trying to be the best team player that he could be.
“Para sa’kin gina-grab ko lang ‘yung opportunity. ‘Di ko naman tinitingnan ‘yung scoring. Tinatry ko lang magawa ‘yung game plan namin and to be able to execute as a team talaga,” said Cu.
“‘Yun, just to do the little things right. Kasi madami naman kaming scorers eh, marami kaming magagaling na players so I’m just trying to do the little things to make our team more efficient,” he added.