By Ron Evangelista, BuhayBasket contributorBarangay Ginebra, the nation’s most popular ball club, is dancing on quicksand right now with the way they’re playing, but they just got a pair of helping hands that are eager to pull them out of the pit. And those particular hands have a knack of catching fire just in the nick of time.
A savvy PBA veteran who used to bring the barangay to their knees, Jeffrei Allan Chan may just be what the doctor ordered for the Kings. This time, his booming treys will bring the entire barangay to their feet, leaving them screaming as the ball swishes through the hoop again and again.
Once Chan steps into the arena, welcomed by hordes of passionate, die-hard supporters adoring him like a rockstar, he will feel the pressure wearing a Ginebra uniform. He can’t let this group down. Chan may have played for the Philippine team with the whole country supporting his back, but he never played for a rabid group of kibitzers like the Ginebra faithful.
The Negros Sniper was never one to have his nerves racked though. He is the consummate iceman, always having the cojones to take the big shots and more often than not, sinking them to the delight of those whose backs he has had the pleasure or burden of having.
There has been a long-standing craving from the team and the fans alike for a dead-shot from the outside. Gone are the days of Sunday Salvacion, Mark Macapagal, and Ronald Tubid manning the helm of the trifecta department. LA Tenorio has been carrying most of the shooting load while the youngsters who were poised to take over in the present aren’t there yet in terms of consistency.
Chan is the missing link to a floundering Gin King offense that has been masked by an import’s scoring in reinforced conferences. It can also be gleaned that Tim Cone has been eyeing his services for quite some time now, and when the legendary mentor likes your playing style for his team, your career just might be revitalized. Case in point: Yancy De Ocampo.
Arguably already the best sniper on the team, Chan offers the team a lot of options that benefits them and hardly any cons to go with it. At 34, Chan is not getting any younger though, but he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. With a team that virtually has the home court advantage in any arena they play, Chan will ultimately be motivated by the fabled “Never Say Die” spirit. The battles on the court will now be fought in a more favorable albeit hostile environment for him, like a gladiator duking it out at the coliseum.
Chan can definitely still bring the heat, but it will now be different with the legions of Barangay Ginebra fans screaming for him to torch the opposing team.
One big 3 at a time.