Nineteen games and counting.
For Gary David, his streak of scoring at least 20 points, tying a league-record alongside Danny Seigle, is just part of his job.
“Kailangan pangatawanan ko na rin talaga yung pagiging scorer kasi mas malaki naman talaga yung chance namin to win if I score more,” the former Lyceum Pirate told InterAKTV in an exclusive interview.
Against Rain or Shine on Friday night, David exploded for 30 points to lead the Powerade Tigers to a 104-98 victory to deal the Elasto Painters their first loss in the tournament.
But it did not come easy for him, after he went scoreless in the second quarter.
“May moments na parang feeling ko hindi ko makukuha, pero nakuha ko yung rhythm ko nung third quarter,” said David.
More importantly than the record, however, it was the Tigers’ third straight win after dropping their first two matches.
‘One of the best’
PBA legend Kenneth Duremdes, a team official of Powerade, said the record affirms David’s place in league history.
“I think he’s one of the best all-time scorers in the PBA,” said Duremdes.
“This season will be remembered as a season of Gary David, how he carried the team all the way to the finals of the Philippine Cup and how he was able to make big shots.”
Duremdes credits David’s scoring explosions earlier this year as part of the reason why there has been renewed interest in the PBA.
“He’s one of the players na gustong-gusto panoorin ng mga tao. Isa siya sa mga pinupuntahan to watch the games live,” said Duremdes, the 1998 PBA Most Valuable Player. “Wala akong nakitang kasing consistent niya sa PBA ngayon pagdating sa scoring. Para siyang sina Bernard King and Alex English before sa NBA na consistent scorers.”
Duremdes said he hopes the Tigers continue their winning ways for David to get a chance at winning the league’s top individual plum.
“Sana makapasok sa playoffs ang Powerade and I would love to see Gary winning the MVP,” said Duremdes.
Best since Caidic
Former Crispa superstar Atoy Co, the 1979 PBA MVP, agrees with Duremdes’ sentiment.
“I’ve never seen a player since Allan Caidic who’s been scoring consistently every game, but Gary David is the only player I’ve seen lately na consistent,” said Co.
Co said he sees the same dedication with David when it comes to working on his game.
“Dati kasi, I have a vision na gusto kong maging scorer. Gusto ko maipapasok ko yung mga tira ko. I also work extra hours sa shooting during our practice and I believe ganyan din ginagawa ni Gary David,” said Co.
More than a scorer
Powerade coach Bo Perasol, however, contends that David is more than just a scorer.
“Sinasabi ng ibang tao na si Gary ang iniisip lang niyan, umiskor. That’s a fact. Pero hindi masama ‘yun because yung iniisip ni Gary is katulad rin ng pag-iisip ni Mark Caguioa, James Yap and Mac Cardona, kasi mga scorers sila. But in my opinion, Gary is more than just a scorer. If you check the stats, he’s been averaging almost five assists per game and he’s also a decent defensive player,” he said.
Perasol adds that David has completely embraced the Powerade system, allowing him to thrive.
“Sa sistema namin, bagay si Gary because of the things he has been doing. He was moving without the ball, unlike yung ibang scorers na gusto nila hawak nila agad yung bola to score,” said Perasol.
“But Gary really gives emphasis on equipping himself. He knows how to use his teammates to free himself and only players who are in great shape can do that.”
The coach added that the Tigers are dependent on David’s explosions to continue winning.
“I would say David is one of the best all-time scorers in the PBA. Our big chances of winning depends on Gary’s scoring,” said Perasol.
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