While fellow touted rookies Ben Mbala and Jerrick Ahanmisi have been filling up the stat sheets for their respective teams, another newbie in NU is slowly working to prove he is among the elite of the batch.
Bulldogs freshman Josh Sinclair gave fans a glimpse of what he can do in NU’s 66-75 loss to La Salle in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Gilas standout had 6 points — all in the second quarter — and made 60% of his shots in just 7 minutes of action.
“I just want to keep contributing, keep doing my best,” he told FOX Sports. “If it helps the team, it doesn’t really matter. I just want to help.”
Sinclair, who once led Ateneo de Cebu to the NBTC crown, was supposed to start playing in the UAAP next year.
But a change in the UAAP rule allowed him to play this season with a caveat: he only had one week of training with the Bulldogs’ Team A.
“I was surprised when I started playing,” he said. “I was blessed that I was able to play.”
Sinclair admitted he had initial struggles with the team, but expressed his gratitude to the NU squad helmed by coach Eric Altamirano for welcoming him with open arms.
“I’m not there yet, but I’m trying to improve as the season goes on,” he added. “I think we’re really a strong team and I believe in the group that we have. I have great faith in the team. We’ll take it step by step.”
Altamirano, who saw Sinclair up-close in the NBTC, likes what he’s seeing so far from the Fil-Australian and loves the potential he brings to the table.
“So far, so good. He has lots of upside in his game. Attitude-wise, ang ganda,” the bemedalled mentor said. “He’s getting used to the college game. Eventually, he’s settle down, learn how to play the game and get stronger.” — By John Chester Fajardo