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POCKET ROCKET IN FULL BLAST-OFF

04:31 PM September 02, 2013

PBA

EMMAN Monfort, though smallest in size, is proving to be a cut above the rest in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

At least in the week that was as the wily playmaker led Barako Bull to a third straight win and a brief share of the lead to earn for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period Aug. 26 to Sept. 1.

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In a 104-91 win over Barangay Ginebra last Saturday, the 5-foot-6 Monfort scored a new career-high 25 points, anchored on 5-for-10 three-point shooting, and also had two rebounds, two assists and as many steals in 38 minutes.

What makes Monfort’s most recent game more notable is the fact he wove it while playing against the Kings’ LA Tenorio, who in turn netted only four points but did have seven rebounds and eight assists.

“First, he is a hard worker in practice,” said Barako active consultant Rajko Toroman. “Second, he is showing size is not the most important thing if you are skills-smart. And last, if you have character you can do a lot.

“He is starting to be the player I had expected can make a big impact in the PBA.”

Energy coach Bong Ramos echoed the sentiment that it is simply the 24-year-old Iloilo City native’s blue-collar work ethics bearing fruits.

“Emman is working hard everyday in practice. He invests a lot during our training, that’s why he is playing great right now,” said Ramos. “The system is good for him, too. He embraces it.”

Glowing commendations indeed for the former Ateneo Blue Eagle tabbed at No. 16 overall in the 2012 Draft but missed the Philippine Cup and mid-season Commissioner’s Cup due to injuries.

“It’s the opportunity that coach (Rajko) Toroman gave me. I work hard to pay back the opportunity he gave me,” said Monfort.

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No clear side effects of the layoff could be seen as Monfort’s most recent efforts saw him notching a new career-best for the third time in four games, jacking his conference averages to 17.0 points, 3.25 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steal per game.

In earning the scribes’ nod, Monfort beat out the likes of Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio and Meralco’s Cliff Hodge. (NC)

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