Back in the pink of health, veteran Jeff Chan showed what his value is for Barangay Ginebra.
The 36-year-old gunner played huge in the Kings’ 129-124 conquest of previously unbeaten San Miguel Beermen in their titanic PBA Governors Cup showdown Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Chan hit 3-of-4 from three-point range and had 12 of his total 15 points in the second quarter to give the team more than enough cushion to survive a gritty fourth quarter fightback by the Beermen.
It was by far Chan’s best showing yet for the Kings since recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined him for most of last Commissioner’s Cup, a performance that naturally didn’t escape the eyes of coach Tim Cone.
“The other guy who gave us a huge, huge lift was Jeff Chan. He hit some big shots for us especially in the first half and made a couple of real good defensive plays,” said Cone following the win that put to a halt the team’s two-game skid.
Cone disclosed talking to Chan the eve of the San Miguel game and told him to be ready.
“He’s healthy. You can see he’s moving much better defensively, and he’s got his legs now. So I told him I’m going to commit to you now. Be ready and we’ll really get you into the rotation,” said the Brgy. Ginebra coach.
“He can be a real key player for us in the rotation, because he really spaces the floor for our bigs, and he just cast and learn our defense and what we’re trying to do defensively,” added the champion mentor.