FORMER La Salle Greenhills stalwart Jacob Lao is taking the road less travelled as he enters college.
While most high school standouts are at this time picking where they’ll be playing in college, the former NCAA juniors champion will be doing something that’s almost unheard of from players coming off a championship high school program.
The 18-year-old guard is opting to focus on his studies as he transfers to Ateneo to take up a BS Management course and major in Communications Technology.
“I chose studies this time over basketball. This time I want to focus on studies muna. Kasi right now, I'm also an assistant coach sa Greenhills,” said Lao who added that he’s not really closing doors on a return to basketball.
“If ever maglalaro ako ulit, nandun lang naman yung basketball e. Nasa kondisyon naman ako e. I just have to maintain it.”
Lao played a huge part in the Greenies’ run to a historic NCAA championship in Season 93, helping lift LSGH win over San Beda in the semifinals and coming up with a clutch play in the Greenies’ title-clinching win over Mapua in Game Three of the finals.
But basketball will have to take a back seat as he focuses on helping out with the family business.
“Ako kasi ang thinking ko talaga is basketball is not forever. Gusto ko muna prioritize yung studies ko. You can adjust naman if you want to play. Tapos ako and kapatid ko are starting a business as well,” Lao said.
“When we won the championship sa juniors, naisip ko na na kahit anong mangyari sa seniors level, studies muna. I want my mom to be proud of me kasi nung high school, sakto lang 'yung grades ko e. It's about new experiences, a new environment.”
Whatever happens, Lao isn’t completely turning his back on basketball, particularly La Salle Greenhills where he still helps out as an assistant to head coach Marvin Bienvenida.
“It was the brotherhood (that I’ll miss the most). Hanggang ngayon, nag-uusap pa rin kami, we go out. Kaya I asked coach Marvin kung puwede ako maging assistant sa kanila, kasi ang hirap iwan yung samahan namin sa Greenhills.”