THERE is little doubt in Philip Cezar’s mind that Aris Dionisio has what it takes to make it all the way to the PBA.
The PBA’s former ‘Tapal King’ gave his longtime ward a stamp of approval, particularly after Dionisio put on a show in Manila–Robust Energy’s 89-82 win over Bataan on Saturday at the San Andres Gym.
Dionisio was effective on both ends of the court as he paced the Stars with 21 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals, leaving his ex-pro teammates in the shade while outdueling his Gilas cadets counterparts.
Asked if the versatile 6-5 forward can go all the way to the PBA, Cezar, a member of the pro league's 25 Greatest Players, said: “I think yes. He will go all the way.”
While many people were surprised by Dionisio’s performance, especially since it’s his first live televised game on free TV, Cezar wasn’t surprised at all.
In fact, the two go a long way back to Dionisio’s early years in the Philippine School of Business Administration – before Dionisio transferred a made a name for himself at St. Clare.
Now that they get a chance to be together again, Cezar expects nothing less from his protégé.
“Expected ko naman lagi sa kanya yan. Everytime na maglalaro yan, binibigay niya 100 percent yan, masipag yung bata. Nakatatak na sa puso niya yan,” said Cezar.
“Napunta pa sa akin, lalong lumakas ang loob niya na magsipag at gawin ang gustong gawin. Binibigay ko sa kanya yung chances na makapaglaro ng 100 percent. Si Dionisio talagang maglalaro yan,” the former Crispa star added.
The only thing that Dionisio needs now is to add more pounds to his lanky frame, considering the physicality that’s required in the pros.
Cezar believes Dionisio’s hard work is more than enough to make up for it.
“Kulang lang alam mo na yung bata medyo payat. Medyo magaan pa para makipagbungguan. Mapapansin mo laging nasa ere yung bata e, talon ng talon. Yun siguro yung kanyang lamang, yung sipag.”