13 December 2010

Probably the Biggest Steal

Hans Thiele vs Sam Eman
There’s a place for everyone and everyone should be in their proper places. Take Hans Thiele for instance. After left out by all teams during the 2010 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) annual draft, Thiele is now trying to go through the last door in the hopes of joining the oldest professional basketball league in Asia. And he is slowly finding his place at the right time.

After almost averaging double-double for the Red Bull Energy Boosters, the rookie from the University of the East was acquired by the Meralco Bolts in exchange for Dennis Daa and a 2011 2nd Round Draft Pick.

"Right now, I'm not thinking about my stats, all I'm thinking about is that coach gave me a chance and I’m not going to waste that," said Thiele when asked about his numbers.

And so far, Thiele has made sure his coach's risk is paying off. He is now ranking number 2 among all the rookies. If he will continue to be this way he might follow Larry Fonacier as the only other undrafted player who bagged the Rookie of the Year award.

During the PBA Draft night, Thiele nursed hopes of being called. But in between surprise top pick Nonoy Baclao and eventual last pick Marvin Hayes, Thiele never got to get up from his seat.

"I know I didn't do well during the rookie camp because I was always injured but still I felt bad that didn’t get picked. Not getting picked and having the opportunity right now is my motivation, I’m going to show them that I really belong in this league (PBA)," he added.

In his first game with the Bolts, Thiele scored 12 points, grabbed 8 rebounds in 23 minutes. His performance in the shaded area was enough to help Meralco win against the slumping Alaska Aces.

He followed this up with a career-high 16 on a 7 of 9 shooting from the field, 6 boards and two blocks for the Bolts only back-to-back wins so far this conference.

With Asi Taulava still playing for the Philippine team and Marlou Aquino slowly catching up with father time, Bolts’ fans should expect Thiele to be a more prominent partner of franchise player Macmac Cardona in the court.

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