In nearly 33 minutes of playing time in Game One of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series versus the Meralco Bolts last Sunday, Simon Enciso wasn’t much of a factor.
The 5-foot-11 point guard only made two out of the eight shots he took from the floor, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Enciso finished the match with just five points and a turnover.
“I was really hard on myself and I knew I had to step my game up,” said Enciso, who’s now in his second season with the Aces after being traded by the Phoenix Fuel Masters for veteran RJ Jazul.
“A lot of people were like, ‘What happened to Simon? What happened to Simon?’ Of course, it feeds you[r] motivation and fire to come out the next game and prove people wrong.”
So Enciso made it a point to bounce back on Game Two two nights later.
And he did.
The 27-year-old Fil-American was aggressive in taking shots Tuesday, shooting 8-of-14 from the floor – highlighted by five threes – en route to 23 points to lead the Aces’ locals.
Enciso’s last two points came with 1.8 seconds left in the game: a pair of free throws that closed the door on Meralco and helped his Aces tie the series at one game apiece through a 100-95 victory.
“My teammates gave me the confidence and found me when I was open. I just knocked down shots,” said Enciso. “Whatever my teammates need me to do to win, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The Aces’ confidence has surely shot up high with Tuesday’s win, but Enciso insisted that they can’t be happy yet.
“I have a lot of respect for Meralco, they have great players and great coach. And you know, they’re going to come out the same way they did today and keep fighting. We got to do the same,” he said.
“Our focus has to be at an all-time high and as I walked in the locker room today, I said it’s not over. This is far from over. Meralco is a great team and we can’t take them for granted.”