FRAN Yu is taking the road less traveled in his desire to chieve his basketball dream, as the former University of the East guard and current Batang Gilas Pilipinas member is heading to Thailand to play varsity ball.
The 18-year-old Yu is taking an unconventional path as he has been picked up by Trail International School in Bangkok to play senior high school ball, after suiting up for one season with the UE Red Warriors.
“Mas maganda ‘yung opportunity doon,” said the former Chiang Kai Shek College standout. “Mabuti at natanggap ako.”
Yu will be joined in Thailand by Julius Capati, his longtime teammate at Chiang Kai Shek College. The two will head to Bangkok once his campaign with Batang Gilas in the Seaba Under-18 Championship in Medan, Indonesia is done.
Yu recalled that it was a coach from Trail International School, which was looking for players during their campaign in the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) finals last month, who initiated the talks.
“Kinontact ako nung coach kasi nalaman niya na wala na ako sa UE. Winelcome naman ako dun. Nag-try out kami,” said Yu.
Capati said he also decided to go to Thailand due to the opportunities that could open up for him there.
“Mas maganda ‘yung opportunity doon. Puno na ‘yung mga teams sa mga universities sa atin,” said Capati, a teammate of Yu since Grade Four.
The 18-year-old Capati also sees competition in Thailand as similar to Manila.
“Meron din silang mga foreign players. Pagbalik namin, puwede kaming sumabay sa college,” he said.
But before going to Thailand, Yu assured that his focus is on Batang Gilas' campaign i the Seaba Under-18 Championship as six teams will vie for three slots in the Fiba Under-18 Championship.
“Sarap kasi kahit sinong player, pinapangarap maging part nito. Blessed ako. Gagawin namin ang lahat para makuha namin ang Seaba,” said Yu.