JOHN Wilson is eager to bring the things he learned from coach Tim Cone and Ginebra to the San Juan Knights as he moves to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
The 31-year old marksman is expected to be a cornerstone of the team that is returning to action after 17 long years - or since its glory years in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
“Wala akong masasabing masama. It’s a great experience with Ginebra and coach Tim. Marami akong natutunan,” said Wilson, who was released by Ginebra at the end of April.
“As a player ang mindset ko is maka-fit ako sa team at makuha yung details. Marami akong na-grab na technique, motivation, hanggang pagpunta ko ng San Juan, dala ko yun,” added Wilson.
“Tinutulungan ko yung mga players ko na mas-bata sa akin na gusto mapunta ng PBA.”
The former NCAA MVP out of Jose Riizal University is excited to be playing for the Knights, who he believes embodies the same attitude as his former team.
His new coach Randy Alcantara and several other former players including Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero and Gherome Ejercito reminds him of San Juan’s glory days when the Knights won the MBA championship in 2000.
The second conference of the MPBL, now with 26 teams, opens on June 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Ikinekwento sa amin ng mga past players at bosses is yung San Juan parang Ginebra din, may attitude na ‘Never say die.’ Kahit mga simpleng liga lang daw dito sa San Juan, dinudumog talaga ng mga tao so yung mga coaching staff namin na former players din ng San Juan, binigyan kami ng idea dun sa nakaraang MBA,” Wilson shared.
“Parang Ginebra nga daw, NSD din. Sa practice, ayun ang motivation, ito yung team namin dati, para kaming Ginebra, mapa-fans at mapa-laro.”
Wilson is thankful for the opportunity for former professionals and those who are just starting their careers.
“Sobrang laking bagay lalo dun sa maaga nawala sa PBA. Nabibigyan pa ng opportunity. Maraming salamat kay Sen. Manny Pacquiao na bumuo siya ng ganitong liga. Yung mga players na maaga nawala sa PBA or mag P-PBA palang, ito yung second chance or stepping stone going to the PBA.”