Photo from MPBLTHE LEAGUE6704
Coach Bong Ramos told Reil Cervantes ‘medyo mataba ka’, and the baller started to respond
by Jim Lemuel Wilson, July 14, 2019 4:39pm
After a slow start to the season, Reil Cervantes has made some big shots in the last two games for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, helping them secure their first back-to-back wins and a 3-2 win-loss record in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup.
Cervantes was part of the Manila Stars last season and was averaging 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 24.8 minutes per game in a total of 33 outings, helping the Stars to a Conference Semifinals finish. He also made a lot of big plays in the Semifinals even though Manila lost to the eventual Datu Cup champions San Juan Knights.
Because of that performance, the former Philippine Basketball Association player was expected to play a huge role as he joins coach Bong Ramos in Pampanga this season. But in a total of four games, Cervantes has only been piling up 7.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 19.7 minutes per game.
On Saturday, Ramos gave his thoughts on Cervantes’ slow start and improving performance.
“Siyempre medyo nag-iba si Reil nang konti, siyempre medyo tumaba e, ‘di ba? So sabi ko sa kanya ‘Magpa-kondisyon ka. Kailangan kita dito.’ ‘Sige coach,’ sabi niya. ‘Pangako ko sa’yo yan’,” said Ramos, who also coach Cervantes in the PBA as part of the Air21 and Barako Bull squads. Ramos shared that he was also an assistant coach to the Blackwater team when Cervantes played there.
“Kaya unti-unti. Nung umpisa ng liga medyo [out of shape pa siya e]. Ngayon medyo mas maganda-ganda na siya,” Ramos added.
Ramos shared that he told Cervantes how he has been out of shape, which is causing him to lose his touch on the things that, the coach knows, Cervantes is really good at.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ayan, nawala kako yung post [moves] mo. Kaya pinupuntahan ko na siya sa post e. Kasi magaling pumoste yan. Sa elbow, magaling din yan yung mga one-on-one sa elbow,” Ramos said.
“Sabi ko ‘Kaya hindi mo nagagawa, kasi medyo mataba ka.’ Sabi ‘Kailangan magbawas ka nang konti’,” he added.
After the talk, Cervantes has responded. And now, Ramos is giving his ward more confidence to take more shots, just like MPBL fans has grown to see him do.
“Okay naman, nag-respond naman siya. Sabi ko ‘wag kang matakot. Nag-miss ka, wag ka matakot. Nalibre ka ulit, tirahan mo.’
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