HE was named by his father after one of the NBA’s best defensive players of all-time.
Yet on this day when Informatics finally scored its breakthrough win in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Moncrief Rogado showed he’s a certified offensive gunner.
The Cebuano top gun, who played under the shadows of giant teammate June Mar Fajardo during his college career at the University of Cebu, showed a glimpse of his potential at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City when he fired a game-high 26 points in the Icons’ stunning 94-87 victory over Big Chill.
Named after two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Sydney Moncrief (1983 and 1984) of the Milwaukee Bucks who was the favorite player of his father, Rogado went a near-perfect 9-of-10 shooting from the floor, and added two rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes of action.
The win was the first for the Icons this conference after nine losses, but the game definitely will be remembered more for the offensive explosion of the 25-year-old Rogado, one among the huge field of 150 players suiting up in the D-League right now in the hopes of someday making it to the PBA.
“Hopefully. Tiyaga lang,” said the 6-foot-1 Rogado, who first came to the Big City a few years back when he caught the fancy of San Miguel Corp. executive and now PBA chairman Robert Non during an exhibition match between Petron and the UC Webmasters.
When Non decided to bring him in as a practice player for Petron, Rogado had to stay with fellow Cebuano and UC alumni Dondon Hontiveros in the former Booster’s Pasig home.
Rogado now practices twice a day – once with the Boosters and another with the Icons – as he keeps developing and refining his shooting skills.
And the hard work is obviously starting to pay off.
“Dito talaga ako sa Informatics nakilala kasi last conference sa Pacific Pipes, role player lang ako. At siyempre dahil na rin kay (head) coach (Jonathan) Buds (Reyes) at sa lahat ng coaches ko dito na nagbigay ng kumpiyansa sa akin,” said Rogado, now one of the top three scorers in the D-League.
Rogado also underscores the significance of plying his trade in the D-League, considered as the breeding ground of future PBA stars.
“Stepping stone ito. Mahahanda ka talaga dito sa D-League kasi sa PBA ganito rin ang laro, `yung tawagan at `yung style, so importante talaga ito.”
Informatics assistant coach Buboy Mata believes the future is bright for Rogado.
“He has a big chance to make it to the big league. He has a good game and an even better attitude,” the affable mentor said.