MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra rookie Rodney Brondial immediately endeared himself to the team's legion of fans as he vowed to work his hardest for the most popular franchise in the PBA.
Ginebra took Brondial with the sixth pick in the recent PBA Rookie Draft. The former Adamson Falcon was visibly overwhelmed as fans loudly cheered him on when he climbed the stage.
"Hindi ako makapaniwala. Sobrang overwhelmed ako, kasi mga idol ko ito tapos dito ako napunta," Brondial told reporters.
Brondial impressed during the Draft Combine and has built a reputation for hard work during his time with Adamson. He can make a quick impact on defense and rebounding for Ginebra even with Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar still on the team.
"Sobrang excited na ako na magpakundisyon at maglaro para sa team," said Brondial. "Talagang magpapakamatay ako para sa team."
His college coach, Leo Austria, said Brondial is a "good pick" for Ginebra precisely because of his work ethic.
"Hard worker 'yan," Austria, now the San Miguel Beer head coach, said of Brondial. "Siya yang player na nakita ko na magpapakamatay talaga para sa team niya."
Brondial credited Austria for his success.
"Lahat ay utang ko doon. From nothing, siya lang ang nag-develop sa akin," Brondial said of Austria, who recruited him after seeing him in an inter-barangay tournament.
When asked what advice Austria has given him as he enters the PBA, Brondial said: "Tuloy ko lang daw 'yung work ethic at 'yung sipag, at lagi akong mag-improve."