COMEBACKING Jay-R Taganas already has a well-paying day job, but he just wouldn't give up on his dream to play in the PBA.
The former San Beda stalwart's basketball career is having a new lease on life after landing a spot in the AMA Titans' D-League team in the season-opening Aspirants Cup.
While playing for the Titans, Taganas also tends to his corporate job at Maynilad.
The burly 27-year-old big man admitted he’s been out of competitive basketball for years, his last stint in the D-League having been in 2010 yet as a reserve player for the multi-titled NLEX franchise.
During that stretch, Taganas' basketball was mostly limited to tournaments featuring companies under the Manny V. Pangilinan group.
Taganas, who won NCAA championships with the Red Lions from 2006 to 2008, found himself returning to top-level basketball by accident after he was invited to join the AMA squad by its coach who also happened to be his mentor in Maynilad's corporate team.
“Parang nagpapakundisyon lang kasi niyaya ako maglaro uli. Nagta-trabaho na ako sa Maynilad, niyaya ako ng coach ng AMA kasi coach din namin siya sa Maynilad,” said Taganas, who was a rookie-MVP during his time with the Red Cubs.
His return to the D-League has once again revived his dream to play in the big league, more so now that he’s emerging as one of the key players of AMA basketball.
“Kung papalarin, bakit hindi,” said the wide-bodied Taganas when asked if he still wants to pursue a pro career.
Taganas has been getting heavy minutes for the Titans owing to the team’s shallow bench and churning out big numbers, including a 21-point, 20-rebound effort against Racal Motors last month.
“Wala naman problema ‘yun,” said Taganas, referring to his load of playing time. “Masaya kami dito sa AMA.”
Although he still has a lot to work on, Taganas hopes renewed his impressive performances in the D-League will draw the interest of PBA teams.
"Basketball pa rin, kasi gustong-gusto ko talaga ito. Sana nga palarin,” he said.