Former NCAA standout Jett Vidal shows up in Zark's tryouts in hope of career reboot
Jett Vidal last suited up as an import in a commercial league in Dubai, playing for three months before returning to the country to try and restart his career. Karlo Sacamos

AS he curled off a screen, Jett Vidal caught a pass at the top of the key and launched a three-pointer that found the bottom of the net in one play last Thursday at the Upper Deck gym.

That proved he still has the touch that once made him a star at University of Perpetual Help.

But unlike before when was he getting as many touches as he wanted as the No. 1 option on offense in an Altas team that also had Scottie Thompson and Juneric Baloria, Vidal was taking advantage of one of the few possessions where the leather ended up in his hands.

The 28-year-old Vidal was among the aspirants in the tryouts called by Zark’s Burgers, one of the new teams competing in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

After failing to sign a contract with Barako Bul, the fourth-round pick in the 2013 PBA rookie draft was relegated to playing for a handful of D-League teams before taking his act to Sta. Lucia where he played two years, including one stint in the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League.

The  5-foot-11 streak shooter last suited up as an import in a commercial league in Dubai, playing for three months before returning to the country.

And now, he’s taking another shot at his PBA dream – by way of the D-League.

“Sa akin, magkaroon lang ako ng team, masaya na ako, para may chance pa ako makita sa PBA,” Vidal said.

And he’s doing it for his two-year-old daughter.

“Gusto ko rin siya makapanood sa mga laro ko, kasi nung college ako, wala pa akong anak nun,” Vidal said. “Gusto ko ma-experience yung pinapanood ako ng anak ko, kaya at least sumusubok pa rin ako. Siguro kung mabibigyan ako ng break dito, mapapansin ako dun (sa PBA).”

“Sa akin naman, makalaro lang ako dun kahit walang sweldo eh, basta makaapak lang ako dun,” he added.

Vidal has gained a spot in PLDT’s team for the MVP Cup, an inter-company tournament among companies that are part of Manny V. Pangilnan's group, while also getting work as an account consultant.

“Nakuha naman ako, pero practice-practice pa lang,” he said. "Hindi pa ako nag-start sa work.”

“Ngayon, wala pa naman, kaya pinayagan muna nila ako mag-D-League,” he added.

And Vidal is willing to reinvent his game – working on his defense to banish the notion that he’s just a one-dimensional player.

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“Willing naman ako, basta may coach na magsasabi sa akin na ito yung kailangan ko para makarating ako dun,’” Vidal said. “Sa akin, kaya ko naman tumanggap ng mga (criticism) kung ano yung mga dapat kong i-additional sa laro ko.”

“Kailangan ko lang maging consistent,” he added. “Yung yung sinasasbi sa’kin ng karamihan: consistency dapat, lalo sa shooting at depensa. Tingin ko pag nadagdag ko yun, kaya ko makalaro sa PBA.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos