FORMER ABL MVP Leo Avenido has yet to get the call-up he has been waiting for, but the sweet-shooting 34-year old guard is happy to get feelers from some teams in the regional league.
"May mga tawag na ako pero hindi ko pa pwede sabihin sa 'yo mga teams, baka maka-apekto sa negosasyon," said Avenido, who had previous stints with the Singapore Slingers, Brunei Barracudas and San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League.
While waiting for his next tour of duty, the journeyman is keeping his game sharp through his stint as the team captain of the FEU-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation team in the DeLeague Cup in Marikina city where is averaging 14.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists through four games.
Against the Our Lady of Fatima University Thursday night, Avenido showed he still has it as he exploded for seven three-pointers, including four in the opening quarter, to lead the Nino Reyes-owned ballclub to a convincing 96-80 win.
“Natutuwa tayo kasi may mga tumatawag na raw na teams sa agent ko, kinakausap na kami,” said Avenido. “Hindi ako nagsisisi kasi sabi ko nga sa yo dati, lumaro ako sa liga na to dito sa Marikina with FEU-NRMF, para ma-i-ready ko rin katawan ko if may call-up.”
View video of interview with Avenido and game highlights:
Aside from providing the needed firepower for his team, Avenido also serves as mentor to youngsters like Taylor Statham, Jawhar Purdy, James White and Gryan Mendoza.
“Every game at practice, kahit nasa bench, talagang sine-share namin sa kanila yung mga dapat nila bigyan ng pansin sa laro. Hindi naman kami madamot na ipasa sa mga bata 'yung mga nalalaman namin based sa experience namin before,” he said.
“Bakit naman namin ipagdadamot, eh alam namin na ilang taon na lang, retired na kami,” said Avenido who is joined in the team by former PBA stars Willie Miller, Leo Najorda, Egay Billones, Froiland Baguion and Hans Thiele.
FEU-NRMF coach Cris Bautista is happy to have Avenido and the rest of the former PBA stars in his roster, saying the veterans truly provide the needed guidance and help to other players.
“Malaking tulong yung mga veterans. Kasi alam na nila ang gagawin nila and they are able to guide their younger teammates in all aspects. They also help out the coaching staff during practices and huddles,” said Bautista.
FEU-NRMF 96 – Avenido 30, White 11, Thiele 10, Akhuete 10, Aguilar 8, Eze 6, Mendoza 6, Purdy 4, Gumabay 3, Joven 2, Fernandez 2, Billones 1, Miller 0, Baguion 0, Najorda 0, Asoro 0
Our Lady of Fatima 80 – Penafiel 14, Jimenez 10, Juanico 10, Cabrera 10, Pangamban 9, Gobon 7, Datu 6, Albano 4, Japson 3, Bargolai 3, Olandriz 2, Alajar 2, Abila 0, Vangera 0, Coronacion 0