Mar 26, 2024

Arana attains new found confidence with Blitz Game MVP award

THE MVP award Justin Arana bagged in the Blitz Game of the just concluded PBA All-Star festivities is certainly a confidence booster for the sophomore big man of Converge.

The 6-foot-7 Arana emerged as the best player out of the Team Greats vs. Team Stalwarts game involving rookie, sophomore, and junior players, tallying 36 points (16-of-21) and eight rebounds in leading the Greats to a 142-133 win at the University of St. La Salle gymnasium in Bacolod.

The MVP award is certainly another feather on his cap after being named Rookie of the Year last season.

"As a player malaking boost ito siyempre. Kahit sabihin nating All-Star ito, pero siyempre yung confidence mo mabubuo pa rin," said Arana, the no. 4 overall pick during the Season 47 draft.

"So tine-take ko lang ito as pampataas ng kumpiyansa."

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The added confidence will be of big help for Arana as he tries to help the FiberXers score their breakthrough win in the Philippine Cup once they resume campaign after the Holy Week respite.

So far, Converge is the only team which has yet to register a win (0-5) just before the league took a break for the All-Star weekend presented by ArenaPlus and the Lenten period.

"Nag-struggle ang team ko, pero siyempre willing pa rin kaming manalo and motivated pa rin kasi kami yung nasa pinakababa," said Arana. "Kaya kailangan double effort. Hopefully, makuha rin namin soon yung panalo."

Despite running away with the Blitz Game MVP plum and the additional P30,000 prize money, Arana acknowledged everything won't be possible without the help of his teammates.

"Team effort kasi talaga. Nagsu-suportahan lang talaga kami ng mga teammates ko, and siyempre bawat isa sa amin chini-cheer ang bawat isa," he said. "Nag-enjoy lang kami ang nag-stick sa game plan ng coaches namin."

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Comprising Team Greats with Arana were Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Javi Gomez De Liano, Kenneth Tuffin, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Ralph Cu, Andrei Caracut, RK Ilagan, Alec Stockton, Gian Mamuyac, James Laput, and Shaun Ildefonso, with Barangay Ginebra deputy coach Patrick Partosa calling the shots.

Team Greats won a P100,000 prize purse. (RG)