Jeremiah Gray says recovery from ACL made him a better player
JEREMIAH Gray’s best game yet in a Barangay Ginebra uniform is certainly a good confidence booster to the rookie guard a little over a year after sustaining an ACL injury.
The high-flying, 6-foot-5 Fil-Am sparked the Kings’ endgame comeback against the NLEX Road Warriors to hack out a 114-111 win and remain unbeaten in two games in the PBA Governors Cup.
See Gray steals thunder from Brownlee-Selden shootout as Ginebra ends NLEX streak
Gray, 26, finished with 19 points and scored nine of those points in a two-minute span as the defending champion completed the rally from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
He was 5-of-7 from three-point range and had four rebounds and three assists.
“It’s going to boost my confidence for sure, but it’s a team effort, and hopefully we can keep getting better each day,” said Gray as he tries to down play the major role he had for the Kings in the endgame.
Coming into the season, the No. 2 pick in last year’s rookie draft was still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered while playing for TNT in the inaugural conference of the PBA 3×3.
He didn’t get to play his first game for Ginebra until the Commissioner’s Cup after being acquired in a trade with Terrafirma before the season began.
Gray admitted it was a tough journey.
“Maybe a lot more grateful that I have a good supporting cast with my family, and a lot of my friends kept my thoughts and morale up during that time I was injured,” he admitted
“I’m very blessed to get back and I’m still trying to get back my athleticism and everything so I could dunk the ball a little more. I just feel very blessed, but it was very tough to comeback, but it made me a better player and making me appreciate the game a lot more.”
Following Gray’s heroics, Ginebra coach Tim Cone said the rookie guard is now showing what exactly he can do, a compliment that obviously thrilled him.
“Coach Tim said that? That’s cool, that’s good,” he said.
“Yeah, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll just do whatever they need me to, whether that’s to be a good teammate, or play defense, or whatever it is, I’ll just do what they need and help us win a championship later on.”