Blackwater Elite rookie and 2017 PBA Draft third overall pick Raymar Jose jockeyes for position against Meralco Bolts guard Baser Amer  | PBA Images

Jose overcomes rookie jitters in impressive PBA debut for Blackwater
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - December 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Even after powering Blackwater in scoring on Friday night, it was evident that newcomer Raymar Jose had the rookie jitters.

Going to the charity stripe on the second period, Jose, picked third overall by the Elite, aimed carefully at his mark — the rim —cocked back his arms and launched his shot, only to fall short miserably.

“Na-excite ako,” the talent out of Far Eastern University said with a chuckle. “Nagulat ako na ganoon ‘yung nangyari. Eventually na-adjust ko naman. Nakuha ko naman ‘yung rhythm ko. [Pero] practice ko pa.”

True enough, Jose gained his bearings come the second half. In the fourth period, he teamed up with teammate and Gilas gunner Allein Malksi for a fiery run that narrowed what was then a 19-point gap.

Jose poured seven of his total 16 points in the final quarter alone. But his efforts were rendered futile after KG Cañaleta, a veteran free agent picked up by the Bolts during the offseason, nailed a dagger trey and a pair of freebies as the game wound down.

READ: Cañaleta helps Meralco escape Blackwater

Despite recovering from the gaffe, Jose said that it was in those final sequences where he got the most learnings. 

"'Yung mga nakakalaban ko, beterano sila. Kailangan talaga mag-adjust pa ako. Bawal magrelax. Konting lingat lang, wala ka na. Kaya kailangan i-improve lagi ang sarili ko,” he offered.

In 22 minutes of action, D-League MVP Jose hauled six rebounds and added two assists to his double-digit scoring. 

His bid to improve will be tested when he and the rest of the Elite take on crowd-favorite Barangay Ginebra on January 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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