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Erram relishes playoff experience, happy to prove Blackwater can hang with the big boys

JP Erram of Blackwater Elite during their series against No. 1 Meralco Bolts | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines — If there’s anything good Blackwater can take from losing in the quarterfinals, it’s that they have what it takes to play — even against the league’s top dogs.

Take it from JP Erram, who has been through many setbacks and breakthroughs.

“Kahit papaano, may experience na kami na kaya namin mag-compete sa kahit sinong team,” Elite’s big man said. “Learning experience sa amin ‘to kasi ‘yung iba samin first time maglaro ng quarters.”

The Elite fell short of fashioning out a massive upset at the expense of the top-seeded Meralco Bolts.

“Syempre, sila, naglaro na sila sa Finals,” he shared. “Tapos 'yung mga player nila, may experiences din. Kami mga bata pa.”

Erram, drafted by a contender in TNT in 2013, was sent to a young Blackwater team in 2014. There, the Elite had barely made a dent in the 12-team field until the 2015 All-Filipino conference where they breached the playoffs.

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Had Blackwater pulled off the unlikely against Meralco, they would’ve made the semifinals for the first time — at the expense of a team that has lost only twice in the eliminations.

Erram has had his shares of highs and lows. Coming back from a knee injury that spoiled his inclusion to the 24-man Gilas pool to the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon, he is now picking up where he left off.

And he hopes his confidence can stay with him and his team when the new season begins.

"Confident kami kasi may talent kami. Alam namin may talent kami. Experience lang talaga kulang,” he shared. "At least, kahit papano, ' di naman kami nagpatalo lang. Lumaban kami hanggang dulo.”

According to the 6-foot-8 center, the team now has a new mantra going into that fresh start — all thanks to their Henry Walker, who was a big ball of energy for them all conference long.

“'Yung mantra namin, na lagi sinasabi ni Henry, 'Hard to Kill' hanggang dulo,” he sa shared with a smile.

With a rallying cry and added experience under their belt, the Elite could only count on seeing better days. After all, they’re also bound to get the third pick in the coming PBA Draft.

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