Von Pessumal made his San Miguel Beermen debut last Saturday, weeks after he was dealt by the Globalport Batang Pier through a one-on-one trade involving seldom-used rookie big man Arnold Van Opstal.
And his start with the storied franchise happened in the best way it could, as the Beermen walloped the Elite and the returning Mac Belo, 118-93, to strongly begin their Grand Slam bid in the 2017 Governor’s Cup.
“Nanalo kami, so malaking bagay sa’kin yun,” said Pessumal after the tiff at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“Excited ako talaga eh, sobrang excited to play with them. Finally natanggal na yung butterflies in my stomach. Okay na ‘ko.”
The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagle played 12:45 minutes in his debut, but tallied just two points, two rebounds and two assists. Asked if he is still adjusting to head coach Leo Austria’s system, Pessumal said that he’s taking it “slowly but surely”.
“Slowly but surely I’m learning yung system ng team and yung mga spots na gusto ng mga teammates ko.
“I think as I keep practicing and playing with them, malalaman ko yung strengths and weaknesses nila,” said the 24-year-old.
As Pessumal is taking to SMB’s ways step by step, the 6-foot-2 gunslinger is also relishing the chance to play alongside Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross — three players that are among the elite in the league.
“It gives me a lot of confidence. When I see them up close every day, malaking bagay yun sakin sa approach ko sa game and sa mindset ko. Hopefully I’ll keep improving one day, and hopefully I get to their level one day,” he said.
San Miguel’s next game will be against long-time rivals TNT Katropa, which might also be an acid test for the Gilas Cadet. But for the rookie, all he has to do is to be ready, if ever his name is called to check in.
“I’ll just be ready to play, ready to contribute. Alam naman natin lahat na it’s a rivalry, but just like any other game, we have to win,” he said.
“Just be ready lang.”
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