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Simon Enciso’s biggest competitor is himself

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Every year, an influx of talent take the PBA stage, and expectations come along the way.

These year, the highest of those expectations are attached to some of the best draftees, like Moala Tautuaa, Troy Rosario, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome and Garvo Lanete, to name a few.

They all have to deliver given the reputation they built prior to turning pro.

Then there are the surprises, like Maverick Ahanmisi — whom Rain or Shine nabbed at third overall — and steals — like Mark Cruz who ended with Star at 32nd overall — who all have to impress too to prove their worth.

For 17th overall pick Simon Enciso however, whether the expectations are lofty or non-existent, what matters more is his own expectations.

“Expectations are going to be there but no one will have higher expectations than myself,” Enciso said after an above par debut with the NLEX Road Warriors Friday.

Enciso scored 15 points, shooting 5-for-8 from three-point area. A sharpshooter back in the PBA D-League, Enciso was able to carry his game to the pro level, at least seeing from how he performed in his first game.

“I just lived in the moment. I was enjoying the time. I made it to where I want to be and this is my dream. I had great teammates get me open spots. I just had to knock down shots and that’s what I did tonight.”

The 24-year-old San Francisco native shares how he prepared for his debut, watching highlights of players he tries to emulate: Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Derrick Rose.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Simon Enciso's biggest competitor is himself    He managed to soak in the moment although he admits it was not easy at all given the pressure.

“The night before I was just watching some highlights of my favorite players and I was like I want to try all those moves but when I got to the gym, man, it’s my first game and I got nervous and excited at the same time,” Enciso said.

NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez added he always wanted to get Enciso to play for his team to boost the squad’s backcourt rotation, and he is delighted with what he saw so far.

“We really intended to get Simon in the draft because we need a back up point guard for Jonas. Simon will help us a lot in our defensive intensity. I saw him play in the D-League and I know he was capable of playing in the PBA,” Fernandez shared.

“With Simon coming in and Kevin (Alas) getting 100 percent soon, we will have a formidable point guard rotation.”

Enciso repaid the trust with an impressive start in the league, although he knows it will get tougher as the season progresses.

“(The competition) is way better. The guys are a lot faster and smarter. The shots going in are higher so you have to play defense, you have to be solid. That’s what I tried to do. I didn’t try to do too much,” Enciso said.

“I will keep doing the same thing I did today. It worked out for me and why change it. Just play solid, play defense, take what the defense gives me and make the right moves.”

The expectations may rise after their season opener given how Enciso was able to impress, but at the end of the day, the combo guard will still think about how to surpass the ones he set for himself.

His biggest competitor is himself.

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