An ordinary PBA Wednesday night became a career outing for Philip Paniamogan
The previously bottom-ranked Mahindra Floodbuster made it rain at the Araneta Coliseum, bulldozing their way to a 105-92 victory over the struggling Meralco Bolts. And it was the five-foot-ten point guard that became the talk of the town.
Leading the hot-shooting Floodbuster was Paniamogan, who delivered a noteworthy performance, leading his team with 25 points off 9-for-10 from the field, with 7 of his 9 shots coming from rainbow country.
Even Mahindra head coach Chris Gavina was all praises as he talked about his point guard’s performance, which helped them post their second win in a row for the first time this conference.
“I really saw it coming from Christmas day. Even during the break, he was one of those guys that was asking me to keep working.”
“He just does what you want him to do. He’s somebody who accepts his role and when he’s called upon, he’s ready to excel now,” remarked Gavina on Paniamogan.
But for Paniamogan, his hot shooting tonight just came from Gavina’s order — an order that gave them the license to shoot whenever the opportunity presented itself.
“Sabi kasi ni coach sa’min, kung sino yung mainit sa’min, suportahan namin. Kaya nung pagka-shoot ko nung last three points, sinunod-sunod ko na,” said Paniamogan of his performance.
“Sabi nila tumira eh, so may lisensya na ‘ko. Kaya ayun tinira ko naman, shoomu-shoot.”
Paniamogan’s fiery streak was best displayed in the game’s third period. With Mahindra up by ten, 54-44, Paniamogan then made his presence felt, nailing three consecutive triples in a shootout versus Meralco big Reynel Hugnatan.
Paniamogan’s last three-pointer in his duel with Hugnatan brought Mahindra up by 13, 63-50, with 7:33 to go in the same frame, and it served as the second-to-the-last bullet of his artillery that helped send the Bolts to their fifth loss in a row.
Despite the flurry of baskets he made and the efficiency he exercised on offense, the former PBA D-Leaguer from Racal Tile Masters still gave the credit to his teammates, who helped set him up in various occasions.
“Binibigyan nila ako ng good screens kaya nalilibre rin talaga,” the 25-year-old pointed out.
With the way he shot the rock tonight, Paniamogan was taken to a trip down memory lane, as his performance made him reminisce his days with the JRU Heavy Bombers of the NCAA.
“Naranasan ko na rin yan nung college days ko sa JRU,” recalled the 6-foot gunslinger. “Sabi ko kung ito shumu-shoot, sige bitaw lang ng bitaw. ‘Pag ‘di shumoot, dahan-dahanin lang, depensa muna.”
His remarkable outing for tonight is already in the books. It has also served as a peek at what he can do to help Mahindra get up from the bottom. But for Paniamogan, he can’t promise that he can keep such games on a nightly basis — yet.
“Tignan natin, kasi ‘di ko masasabi sa next game. ‘Di ko naman madikta na sa’kin lahat. Nung nag-init sa’min sina Mike [DiGregorio] at [Jason] Deutchmann, doon kami.
“As of now ako ‘yung nag-init so thankful ako na nagtiwala sila sa’kin,” said a relieved Paniamogan.