SMART CLARK GIGA CITY — Abu Tratter played a vital role in Alaska’s all-important game versus NorthPort in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Friday.
The sophomore forward collected 16 points and six rebounds as the Aces beat the Batang Pier, 102-94, to formalize their entry to the quarterfinals.
Tratter regained his form after scoring just a total of 11 points in their matches versus Phoenix Super LPG and Ginebra, which they split.
Prior to those games, the La Salle product was averaging 11.14 points — a key contributor to the now playoff-bound Milkmen.
Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso, meanwhile, feels pleased with Tratter’s development, as he’s now averaging 10.5 markers and 6.8 boards.
“His development has been again progressive. That’s all we ask for,” said the seasoned bench tactician post-game.
Still, Cariaso believes that there’s more room to grow for the 27-year-old cager from Laguna.
“We’d like him to really understand that as probably our main big guy, there’s a big responsibility there,” he said.
“And it has a lot to do again with just the mental part — being ready on both ends of the court, being reliable offensively, but also being reliable defensively.”
And the good thing for Tratter — and his fellow young bigs in the team — is that he has the assistance of nurturing figures within Alaska.
There’s Coach Danny Ildefonse, one of the league’s all-time greats; and then there’s also the recently-retired Sonny Thoss.
“So that’s where you know the mentorship from coach Danny and even Sonny Thoss is helping,” Cariaso said.
“And what’s nice to see, even here during the bubble, malaking tulong din si Rodney [Brondial] with his progress.”
Tratter, on the other hand, is just grateful to be part of a team that encourages each other.
“Mental health is important inside the bubble, so just being able to talk to my teammates, the coaching staff… Coach Danny down to Coach Tony [Dela Cruz], to Coach Jeff, they do a great job talking to us, making sure we have a level mind going into each and every game.”