CEBU CITY – It has been a roller coaster of a year for the University of the Visayas’ talented guard Beirn Laurente, who after crumbling in defeat at the hands of the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu in the Cebu finals of the NBTC earlier this year, gained redemption by winning both the MVP award and the high school championship in the recently-concluded Cesafi high school tournament.
However, instead of letting his head wander in the clouds, the Baybay, Leyte resident is quick to ground himself, insisting that there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“I still need to improve on a lot of things. That’s why I have to find the time to do extra work after classes and practice,” said the 17-year old guard, who led the Baby Lancers to a perfect season – 11-0 – including a clean 2-0 sweep of the four-time defending champions Ateneo de Cebu.
The victory was doubly sweet for Laurente and the Baby Lancers, which suffered several heartbreaking defeats at the hands of the boys in blue in recent years, including the aforementioned loss in the NBTC Cebu finals which denied UV a spot in the national finals.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to get back at them. I am especially happy for my teammates who will be playing next season since it will help raise their confidence even more,” Laurente added.
And Laurente will need the help of every single one as he is expected to lead a squad that will be losing veteran studs Jim Paul Amistoso, JJ Rosete, Roosevelt Jellanguiao, Froiland Maglasang and Jhiey Paraldo.
After earning a reputation as a player who sometimes toes the line between physical and dirty, Laurente asserted that he doesn’t mind that as he says it’s true.
“Those talks about me? I’ve already learned to accept them since they’re true,” said Laurente with a laugh. “It’s really okay. It comes with the job description.”
For a player as hard-nosed and talented as Laurente, he beams with pride in relating that this MVP plum is actually his very first.
“It’s a great feeling. I can’t describe it! I have a lot of confidence in myself but I still can’t believe I got this award.”