Barangay Ginebra import Zacchues Mason is playing his first professional league in the PBA, but it seems that you can't find any glimpsed that he is a neophyte in this job.
And he has no problems playing against veteran imports who already experienced playing around the world.
“They (imports he faces in the PBA) are just like I am. Basketball at the end of the day, they have experience on me, but I’ll continue to do the little things like get extra possessions and block,” said Mason after the Kings’ grabbed their second straight victory on Saturday night.
The Gin Kings are currently at the top of the team standings with a 2-0 (win-loss) record and is tied with the surprising Air21 Express.
Mason showed his workhorse power in the shaded lane in Ginebra’s game against Meralco by registering an all-around performance of 32 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and dishing off two assists in a 95-82 win.
Mason is fresh from college after a stellar stint with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga that made Ginebra noticed him and eventually tapped him as their reinforcement for the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup.
And it seems that Ginebra has made a good decision in tapping him despite having no experienced as a pro.
Mason revealed that Ginebra new coach Jeffrey Cariaso continued to remind them to play team basketball in the season-ending tournament.
“This isn’t about individual performance, but it’s being able to execute our offense. And do those small things. That’s what we focused on to get them today (against Meralco), he added.
The 23-year-old Mason faced an NBA veteran in Terrence Williams of Meralco but never backed down against him in route to dominating his counterpart.
But with how humble Mason is, he also thanked his teammates for helping him adjust to the PBA brand of play.
“I’m probably the youngest import here, but I just continue to get better day by day with my teammates on offense and defense,” he said.
“A lot of these guys (Ginebra teammates) have experience, still a little tough to adjust. But my teammates are behind me, so I enjoy playing basketball.”
Mason and the Kings will gun for the early solo leadership on Tuesday when they go up against another undefeated team in Air21 who is lead by explosive import Dominique Sutton and ageless Asi Taulava.
It will be a tough battle between a veteran team who seems to finally found back their winning ways and a team who surprised everybody last conference by making it to the semifinals that gave them the confidence entering this tournament.
--- with reports from Spin.ph
Ginebra import Zaccheus Mason credits teammates for his instant transition in the PBA
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on