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    Overaged for NCAA, Gelo Sablan shifts to deputy coach role with Chiefs

    Jul 22, 2022
    Gelo Sablan, PBA D-League, Arellano Chiefs
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    GELO Sablan never imagined his collegiate career to end abruptly.

    Finding himself over the age cutoff for the upcoming NCAA Season 98, the 25-year-old is now facing an uncertain future as he was forced to bid his collegiate playing career with the Chiefs goodbye.

    Lucky for Sablan, coach Cholo Martin was there ready to keep him at Arellano, this time as an assistant coach, as he gets to help his peers from the sidelines this time out.

    New playing opportunity

    He also feels fortunate to have found a new playing opportunity at Adalem Construction-St. Clare in the ongoing 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.

    "Nakuha nila ako one day before the conference so naga-adjust pa rin ako," said Sablan, who currently averages 7.4 points on 33-percent shooting from deep, to go with 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.6 steals through five games for the Saints.

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      Seeing the game in the eyes of a player and a coach has helped Sablan understand the game better, as he soaks in the knowledge from the sidelines with Arellano and puts it in action with Adalem-St. Clare.

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      "Malaki ding help yung coaching dahil iba yung point of view ng coach. Bagong perspective kung paano ko titignan yung basketball," he said. "Sa Arellano, mga bata sila so parang ako na yung kuya na nag-guide sa kanila. Same din sa St. Clare pero mas naiintindihan ko rin yung mga tinuturo ni coach Jinino [Manansala]."

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      By no means, though, is Sablan ready to give up on his playing days as the 6-foot-4 winger hopes to grab every opportunity that comes his way.

      "Kung saan man ako aabot, ok naman ako doon. Main goal ko pa rin umabot sa PBA pero para sa akin, di naman mawawala yung coaching," he said.

      "Sa akin, one step at a time. Ayokong madaliin ang sarili ko. Gusto kong makita kung ano yung kaya kong ibigay. Iba na yung PBA, so gusto ko muna mag-improve dahan-dahan and hopefully makalaro ako ng maayos. Susulitin ko yung chance na makukuha ko pa and hopefully, by next year, pag nag-declare ako, makuha ako."

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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