MAKING EVERY MINUTE COUNT
RONJAY Buenafe is making the most of the minutes he’s getting with GlobalPort this season.
Buried deep in the heavy guard roster, Buenafe proved he’s still a clutch player after playing a key role in the Batang Pier’s first back-to-back victories in the PBA Philippine Cup.
With starting combo guard Terrence Romeo out of sync and veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot in sick bay, the 31-year-old shooting guard filled in the gap after burying 11 of his 19 points in the second half to lead an undermanned GlobalPort side to an 84-79 win over hardluck KIA Motors last Tuesday.
The 6-1 guard out of Emilio Aguinaldo College wasn’t done because five days later, Buenafe connived with rookies Anthony Semerad and Stanley Pringle in a vicious second offensive to lead GlobalPort to a runaway 87-72 win over winless Blackwater.
Buenafe finished with a team-high 17 points, spiked by four three-point conversions that enabled the Batang Pier to forge a three-way tie with idle Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text at fifth to seventh spot in the standings with their 3-2 win-loss record.
“It’s a challenge for me kasi di nga maganda nilalaro ni Terrence, he’s on a shooting slump, so ako, I have to step up sa team, kasi kung hindi, sino pa mag-step up sa amin?” said the sweet-shooting GlobalPort journeyman, whose stellar performance earned him his first Accel-PBA Player of the Week citation for the period of Nov. 4-9, besting Barangay Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Mac Baracael, as well as teammates Pringle and Semerad.
With a much-improved roster this season, Buenafe is confident that the team can weather the storm in the single-round eliminations and contend for the playoffs, which has eluded the Batang Pier in the last two conferences this past season after finishing at the cellar with a combined 2-16 win-loss card. (RD)
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