JANJAN Jaboneta is tempering expectations as he prepares to join University of the Philippines when he enters college next season.
The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu standout played his final high school game during the Seaoil-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) title match, capping it with an 82-78 win over San Beda.
Shortly after the victory, Jaboneta confirmed he’s bound to become part of the Fighting Maroons by next year, having already attended tryouts for the team.
“My first choice is UP. Nag-tryout na ako doon at kinuha nila ako,” Jaboneta told Spin.ph
UP has all the reasons to feel optimistic about Jaboneta, even though the 6-foot-1 player is small for his natural position at forward.
The native of Antique led all scorers with 27 points – 18 coming in the second half - to lift the Magis Eagles to the title victory over the Red Cubs, six-time NCAA titlist.
Jaboneta emerged as the Finals MVP.
But Jaboneta said he’s not coming over as UP’s savior, adding he’s only out to help the Maroons in any way he can.
“Hindi ko po iniisip ‘yun. Gusto ko lang po tumulong sa kanila. Alam ko po na hindi talaga sila malakas sa basketball pero gusto kong ibigay ang best ko sa kanila,” said Jaboneta.
Academics also was a factor in Jaboneta's decision to choose UP.
“Gusto ko rin na hindi parating basketball. Kasi ang basketball, hindi mo alam kung kailan ka matatapos kasi ang injury, hindi mo malalaman kung kailan darating. Pero ‘yung pag-aaral, magagamit mo sa future,” said Jaboneta, who plans to take up business management at the Diliman-based school.
At UP, Jaboneta will be joining fellow Sacred Heart alumnus Henri Asilum and Paul Desiderio, who he hopes will help him fight homesickness.
“Malaki pong bagay ‘yun para hindi ako ma-homesick,” said Jaboneta. “Meron din mag-guide sa akin.”