Coach Caloy Garcia noticed that rookie Adrian Wong was playing tentative in Rain or Shine’s clash versus NorthPort Sunday, so he called him out for it.
“I shouted at him,” admitted the veteran bench tactician, “because he kept on hesitating. He looked scared.
“I told him, ‘You look scared inside. Just play the way you’re supposed to play.'”
Fortunately, that seemed to help.
Wong played his usual game, and eventually finished with 15 points to help the Elasto Painters sneak past the Batang Pier, 70-68.
Eight of his points came in the final frame, including a triple — his third of the game — that gave his side a 63-52 lead with 5:16 remaining.
One of Rain or Shine’s’ three first round picks in the 2019 Draft, Wong played for 20 minutes and 30 seconds. He also had two rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
“The nice thing is he stepped up after I said that,” lauded Garcia, whose team is now sharing the top spot of the standings with TNT.
The 6-foot-3 Wong, meanwhile, is just grateful to be part of a squad that believes in the capabilities of one another.
“They just really believe in me. We actually believe in every one of us,” he said.
“We’re 15 deep, anyone on our team could actually take off.”