NATIONAL duty now takes a backseat for Ronald Pascual as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) beckons for the former San Sebastian star.
Pascual, one-third of the Stags’ dreaded `Pinatubo Trio’ in the NCAA, told Spin.ph he’s set to enter the PBA draft this year in the hope of being reunited with former teammates Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang.
His commitment with Gilas Pilipinas’ cadet team led him to pull out of the 2012 draft, where he was originally projected to become a first round pick.
But there is no turning back now.
“Dalawang draft na ‘yung pinalampas ko,” he said. “Nag-commit ako sa national team. Gusto ko rin maging national player. Pero goal ko talaga maglaro sa PBA.”
But the decision to remain an amateur left Pascual way behind his celebrated teammates at San Sebastian who are both having blossoming careers as professionals.
Abueva was drafted No. 2 overall by Alaska in 2012 and ended up as the season’s Rookie of the Year, while Sangalang also emerged as the second pick overall by San Mig this season and has since earned a regular spot in coach Tim Cone’s rotation.
Although he doesn’t have any preferences as far as a PBA team is concerned, Pascual bared that he would be more than happy to be reunited with either Abueva at Alaska or Sangalang at San Mig.
From the looks of it, the Aces seem to be the perfect fit for the Pampanga native.
Aside from Abueva’s presence, Pascual said he also idolizes Alaska veteran Dondon Hontiveros, while assistant coach Topex Robinson once handled him while still with the Stags.
“Sana nga makasama ko ‘yung isa sa kanila. Pero sa ngayon, wala naman akong gustong team, basta lang naman sa PBA,” he said.
Known for his shooting and athletic ability, Pascual believes he still has a lot to improve as far as his game is concerned, something that he will do in the months leading up to the rookie draft.
“Iba ‘yung physicality sa PBA. ‘Yun ang pinag-hahandaan ko,” Pascual said.