Through three games, Gab Banal is proving to be the perfect complement for Jeron Teng in Flying V.
Displaying a no-nonsense grit to pair up with Teng’s flash, the 26-year-old forward churned out his best game to date on Tuesday, firing 29 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in the Thunder’s 107-96 victory over Wangs Basketball.
But Banal, who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 PBA Draft, said he’s only thinking about ways to contribute for his squad.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help my team win,” he said.
“Everyone is collapsing on Jeron and we all know that he’s a scoring machine. When he was passing the ball, it just so happened that I’m open, so I’m just lucky that I’m making those shots. I’m just grabbing rebounds and tip-ins just to help my team win.”
Banal showed his dedication to be Flying V’s junkyard dog as he took responsibility of stopping the Couriers’ high-scoring Robbie Herndon in the second half.
“He scored 20 in the first half. That’s Kobe Bryant-like. So someone has to make that effort to stop him and I knew I had to stop this guy. Fortunately, I was able to do that. I think he wasn’t able to score against me,” said Banal, who limited Herndon to just four points in the final two quarters.
With the Thunder flying high in the tourney with an immaculate 3-0 record, Banal believes that the team must stay the course and focus on the gameplan laid out by coach Eric Altamirano going forward.
“You know the saying, ‘Why fix it if it ain’t broke.’ I guess we just have to focus on ourselves and keep doing what we’re doing. If we’ll have adjustments, it’s coach Eric’s job to do that and we’ll just follow him and listen to him. So far, I think he’s doing a good job cause we’re 3-0.”