Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeSportEncho Valdez proving he belongs big boost to NLEX cause

Encho Valdez proving he belongs big boost to NLEX cause

Valdez proving he belongs big boost to NLEX cause

NLEX rookie Enoch Valdez.–MARLO CUETO/

Rookie Enoch Valdez was one of the silver linings in NLEX’s losing stand against red-hot defending champion San Miguel last weekend.

The guard out of Lyceum, who showed flashes of brilliance during the last Commissioner’s Cup, finished with 18 points against the league’s biggest offensive juggernaut, giving the Road Warriors a fighting chance for about three quarters before they eventually lost steam.

“I just wanted to show that I belong. Even if it’s within just the team. I want to prove that I could do the job expected of me,” he told the Inquirer in Filipino. “I want to show I have worth.”

Even as a newcomer, Valdez has proven to be useful for coach Frankie Lim and the rest of the NLEX brain trust, averaging 9.3 points, five rebounds and a steal over the course of nine games. He was also fielded as a starter in five games.

Valdez, as expected, said he still hopes to polish different facets of his game. Among those is becoming an even more vocal player to aid the Road Warriors’ system.

“I want to be more of a leader on the floor in hopes of improving the team’s communication. I think that will make the game easier for us. And it’s not all the time that a team’s top gun is vocal,” he went on.

In that 120-103 loss to the mighty Beermen, Valdez proved he belongs. His output was the finest among the Road Warriors—which came at a time when the squad missed ace Robert Bolick, who was out to attend to his wife and first-born child.

Valdez said he is setting his sights on helping NLEX make the playoffs, understanding that with more games come more chances of showcasing his talent.

“We need to work even harder in training. We’ve all seen what else we lack,” he said. “I hope for us to be in the playoffs because that’s such a huge exposure and opportunity.”

The 5-4 Road Warriors are hurtling toward a quarterfinal appearance and could have a chance at a twice-to-beat advantage depending on their game against 5-5 Rain or Shine which is being played at press time.

“I’ll be ready (for the moment) everyday,” he said.

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