THE decision of Orlan Wamar to go for broke in Manila after his stint in Cebu is starting to pay off.
The 18-year-old Wamar was named the first-ever Finals MVP of the UCBL after helping Centro Escolar University win the collegiate basketball title via sweep of Olivarez College in the best-of-three series.
“Wala akong masabi. Hindi ko inexpect na ako ang Finals MVP,” said Wamar, who stands 5-foot-8. Unofficially, because he hasn't even bothered to know what his real height is.
“Hindi ko alam. ‘Yun ang nakakatawa,” said Wamar laughing.
But the Cebuano guard has never let size - or his lack of it - get in the way of his dream, which is to one day make it to the big league, the PBA.
He's not afraid to take a gamble, either. After playing high school ball for University of the Visayas, his family decided playing in Manila is his best chance at making it to the PBA.
“Sabi ng papa ko, mag-baka sakali tayo sa Manila kasi one step na lang, PBA na. Inuna ko ‘yung CEU,” said Wamar, who has Jun Manzo and Leonard Santillan as batchmates at UV.
To compensate for his lack of height, Wamar has polished his shooting while extending his range.
“Ever since nung high school ako, ako ‘yung pinakamaliit sa line-up. Pinupush ako na mag-shooting araw araw,” said Wamar.
The move is paying off. He 10 points and four rebounds in the Scorpions' title-clinching 59-38 victory over Olivarez College in Game Two last week to earn Finals MVP honors.
Now, Wamar feels he is ready for the next step as he looks to earn a spot in the CafeFrance team that will compete in the PBA D-League via school tie-up with CEU.
Wamar is in line to take over the spot left by longtime Scorpion court general Mon Abundo, who is now with the Star Hotshots in the PBA.
“Pagsisikapan ko na kung ano ‘yung mapakita ko dito, ‘yung darating na panahon, mas more pa ibibgay ko,” said Wamar.
“Paghahandaan ko ‘yung D-League. Kung ano pa ang kailangan kong iimprove, gagawin ko,” he added.