Talk ‘N Text rookie Eliud Poligrates shares pro debut experience in Cebu
While Talk ‘N Text rookie guard Eliud Poligrates admitted to being a little overwhelmed by the reception of his professional debut here in Cebu, he added that his great play was helped in large part by the guidance and encouragement of his coaches.
Poligrates, a local hero here because of a reputation that was earned on the blacktops of leagues all over the region as well as an exciting yet notorious stint at Southwestern University, was a huge hit in his first game as a pro, helping the defending Philippine Cup champions Tropang Texters log an 89-80 win over the Meralco Bolts.
Moreover, the love from the crowd was palpable, with each nifty move by the charismatic left-handed gunner earning a wild roar normally reserved for comebacking Cebuano hoop heroes such as Dondon Hontiveros, June Mar Fajardo and even Jimwell Torion a while back.
Poligrates scored the bulk of his 13 points in the fourth period and helped Talk ’N Text break away from the Bolts with an array of offensive moves, the last one being a sequence that Cebuano fans had become accustomed to seeing—a crossover and step-back three-pointer combo that shook the league’s leading scorer, Meralco’s Gary David, and gave the Texters an insurmountable 81-70 lead.
But while Poligrates’ offense was never in question, he shared that his coaches just pushed him to focus on one thing and one thing only—play hard defense.
“Pinapadepensa lang nila ako kay Gary David. Gusto lang nila i-hassle ko siya and to stay in front of him. Yung lang talaga sabi ni coach sa akin. Kasi kung maganda ang depensa ko, maari akong mag-stay sa court,” Poligrates said in an exclusive interview after the game.
His first game as a pro was witnessed by his family members, which numbered more than 50, most of them coming all the way from the Municipality of Poro, in the Camotes Islands, including his mother, father, wife and three-year-old daughter.
“Blessing lang talaga na maganda ang laro ko kasi napanood pa ito ng pamilya ko. Hindi ko talaga ine-expect na mangyari yun. Gusto ko lang maglaro ng maayos at gawin kung ano man ang gusting ipagawa ni coach sa akin,” Poligrates added.
Now with one game under his belt, Poligrates is hoping to carry this momentum to their next games in order to help the Texters win a fourth straight Philippine Cup crown.
“Kung ano man yung ginawa ko sa game ngayon, yun lang din ang gagawin ko. Hindi ko naman kailangan umiskor sa team na ito. Marami na kaming mga scorers.”
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