Player of the Week Apr 30 to May 2

TO stand out in such a well-stocked arsenal as San Miguel Beer is not an easy task.

Yet forward Jay Washington managed to do that twice in a row, in the process leading the Beermen to back-to-back wins and earning for himself the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period April 30 to May 2.

Washington averaged 24 points, 8.0 rebounds 1.5 blocks and 1.0 assists in SMB’s victories over Rain or Shine and B-Meg Derby Ace that ran up the defending champion’s streak to six games and fortified its hold on the PBA Fiesta Conference solo leadership.

The 6-foot-7 forward’s fine all-around plays in both those games earned glowing appreciation from no less than SMB coach Siot Tanquingcen.

“His talent is really something. He can beat you from the inside and the outside and that’s just incredible,” said Tanquingcen, who also can’t help but compare Washington to 1999 Rookie of the Year awardee Danny Seigle in his heydays.

“His skill level is very high and he has this uncanny understanding of the game. If you play him small he’ll post you up. If you play him big he’ll kill you in the perimeter. Parang Seigle talaga,” Tanquingcen noted.

It’s not that the Eckerd College product has no flaw.

“Kung minsan, sobrang unselfish. Kaya nga at times ako na mismo ang nagsasabing, ‘Take charge ka na,’” related Tanquingcen.

Washington can indeed act as the team’s go-to guy and he showed that with a 25-point, seven-rebound performance in SMB’s come-from-behind 80-72 win over Derby Ace last Sunday.

Olsen Racela, Joseph Yeo, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos spearheaded the Beermen’s comeback from two 18-point third quarter deficits, but Washington kept them in the game with all but two of his personal season-high points in the first three periods.

And his layup also capped the fightback as it gave them a 67-66 edge.

The 28-year-old first set a new season-high with 23 points in a 105-97 win over the Elasto Painters last Friday, spiking his performance with nine rebounds, two steals and as many blocks.

Those victories jacked SMB’s win-loss record to 7-1, a full game ahead of second-running Talk N Text.  But Tanquingcen said the final reckoning will be on where his powerhouse team is placed after the tournament.

For sure, Washington is one gauge of where the Beermen are headed. (NC)