MANILA, Philippines – The GlobalPort Batang Pier earned its first win of the PBA Governors’ Cup this past weekend thanks largely to second-year shooter Anthony Semerad, who hit a corner 3-pointer in the final minute of second overtime which was the difference in the 126-123 contest against the Meralco Bolts.
The San Beda standout finished with a career-high 24 points and 6 3-pointers, plus was named the PBA’s player of the week two days later.
“I just wanted to stay focused. We’ve been losing, right, so I just wanted to get that win. I put all my energy and focus just playing hard defense,” he told Rappler after the contest on Sunday.
“I just want to play hard every time. I don’t know if it’s going to happen every day. I just give my best and give my all and hope for the best and the best for the team and get the win.”
Semerad’s accuracy from deep - especially the corners - is no incident. The Filipino-Czech player has been known for that shot since his collegiate playing days in the NCAA, and focuses on it during practices.
The 25-year-old says he makes 300 3-pointers from each corner every day as part of his regimen.
“Ever since I started playing basketball, that was my favorite shot - corner 3s. So growing up in Australia, everyone would know I’m the guy who shoots the 3s in the corner, so I guess it just developed. It’s in my game now,” he said.
Semerad, who also said having a salad for breakfast may have been a reason for his impressive showing, finally had his breakout game in the PBA. The Batang Pier still have catching up to do in the standings with a 1-4 record, but similar performances from their floor-spreader could lead to more wins.
“I was nervous when I was coming in and when we started here in the PBA, but I just want to keep working hard and bond with the veterans and all that,” he said.
“Back then (his rookie year) I think I was hurting a bit. I had ankle injuries and now I’m starting to feel I’m in good shape now. I’m just trying to use that energy to give it my all. I’m feeling good on the court now.”
Semerad’s performance against Meralco upped his averages to 9 points and 47% shooting from deep this conference. The Batang Pier will be back in action on Friday, August 19, against the San Miguel Beermen. – Rappler.com