Rain or Shine rookie Maverick Ahanmisi thrives in big moments these days.
Playing with a confidence that isn’t normally seen in a rookie, the Fil-Nigerian guard came off the bench to provide the spark as Rain or Shine posted a 98-94 win over fancied San Miguel Beer to draw first blood in their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ahanmisi’s confidence grew overtime with veteran combo guard Paul Lee still working his way back into game shape due to a nagging knee injury.
And it showed against the Beermen as evident by his team-high 23 points, to go along with nine rebounds and three assists.
The former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher also had a solid all-around game last week against Barangay Ginebra, coming off the bench to contribute 14 points, four rebounds and four assists as Rain or Sine swept the league’s crowd favorite, 2-0 in their quarterfinal series.
“Si Maverick malaki ang naitulong niya sa point guard chores kaya hindi kailangan solohin ni Paul lahat,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said in commending last year’s no. 3 overall rookie pick.
The two huge performances earned Ahanmishi his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of April 18-24 to beat Alaska big man Eric Menk and Calvin Abueva as well as San Miguel’s Chris Ross.
Rain or Shine guns for a commanding 2-0 series lead against San Miguel on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.