Jeff Viernes and coach Stevenson Tiu have come a long way.
The player-coach tandem has always made waves wherever they took their act and has always positioned themselves among the contenders in the numerous leagues they joined under the banner of Jumbo Plastic.
Once again, they rekindled that old flame after Viernes joined Tiu in Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian.
It wasn’t surprising that the shifty guard easily adjusted to the Revellers in his first game with the team and poured 22 points, five rebounds, and five assiststo lead them to 80-72 win over Gamboa-St. Clare to advance to the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals.
“There’s not much difference as to how things were before,” related Viernes in Filipino. “Coach Steve has always wanted a running game, so it’s not going to be much of an adjustment to me.”
However, the biggest difference for him will be embracing this new role as an elder statesman as, at 28, he is now revered as one of Che’Lu-San Sebastian’s old sages together with Jay-R Taganas.
“Last time I played in the D-League, I was one of the young guys. Now, I’m one of those veterans who the team relies on. So I’m helping these young guys improve and hopefully, be drafted in the PBA which is the dream of these players,” said Viernes, who briefly played with Phoenix last season before joining Hi-Tech Bangkok City in Thailand.
The 5-foot-7 guard bared that he’s not thinking of his plans yet after this D-League campaign, with his eyes set on helping the Revellers advance past top seed Akari-Adamson in the semifinals and hopefully, hoist the championship trophy at the end of this conference.
“Coach Steve asked me after my stint in Thailand if I could help him here for the playoffs. That’s my commitment as of now. I don’t have any plans after that,” he said.
“Again, I’m just so happy that I was able to return and play again here in the Philippines. My number one goal is to help Che’Lu, and if we’re lucky, continue this to the Finals and hopefully, win this conference.”