The 24-year-old was looking to join the PBA Draft and planned to forego his final playing year in the NCAA until coach Egay Macaraya convinced him to stay.
"Nakiusap lang ako sa kanya na magpaiwan for his last season," the mentor said of Altamirano. "Magpapa-draft na dapat siya pero he decided to stay with us for one more year."
So far in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup, it looks to be the 5-foot-11 guard made the right call.
In Apex Fuel-San Sebastian's shock 73-51 victory over EcoOil-La Salle on Thursday, Altamirano commanded his side's defense with seven steals to go with 15 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
To the Antipolo native, though, it's just another day in the office as he continues to be the defensive anchor for the Recto crew.
"Noong bago ako sa Baste, kailangan sa akin ni coach Egay is yung depensa ko. So nandito pa rin yun. Nagtitiwala lang sa akin si coach at may tiwala din ako sa kanya," said Altamirano, which alone explains his choice to stay put rather than make the jump to the pros.
"Naniniwala naman akong magbubunga lahat yun. Pinili kong magstay kasi may tiwala ako kay coach Egay na mas magi-improve ako next season kaya di muna ako nagpa-draft."
And Macaraya just couldn't be any happier.
"Noon pa naman he's always a leader. I know Ichie kung paano niya dinadala yung mga kasama niya and I know that he can always be a leader. I just want him to show that on the court kasi yung offense at defense niya ang nagbibigay ng pag-asa sa mga kasama niya," he said.
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