DYLAN Ababou considers his stay with Barangay Ginebra this season as a new beginning to his career after nearly getting traded in the offseason.
The fit-again swingman out of University of Santo Tomas was supposed to be traded prior to the PBA rookie draft to Barako Bull in exchange for the Energy Cola’s No. 4 pick overall.
Fortunately for Ababou, the trade was tweaked at the last minute. Ginebra instead sent Rico Maierhofer and Willy Wilson to the Energy Cola for a pick which the Kings used to tab Filipino-Canadian guard James Forrester.
Now Ababou is keen to prove himself all over again.
“Second chance ‘to,” said the soft-spoken Ababou in a phone chat with Spin.ph a day after the draft. “I need to prove myself again, like nung na-draft ako, kailangan ko i-prove ang sarili ko. Nung nasa UST ako, ganun rin.”
“Kung baga ito, balik ulit ako sa stage na ganun, back to zero,” he added. “Hindi na iba sa akin 'yun.”
Ababou, who was sidelined for 10 months by an ACL (arterior cruciate ligament) tear, admitted he was surprised about the trade report but nonetheless prepared himself for it.
“Ni-ready ko na 'yung sarili ko kung matutuloy man `yung trade, tanggapin ko na lang,” added the former Gilas mainstay, who turns 27 on December 7.
At the same time, he could not help but feel sad that Maierhofer and Wilson had to leave Ginebra.
“Family na kami sa Ginebra na pag may nawawala sa team, hindi ganun kadali,” Ababou admitted. “Maganda yung samahan namin. Si coach Alfrancis (Chua) tsaka si coach Ato (Agustin) `yung mga captain of the ship.”
Ababou will deal with that but for the moment, he said his focus is to regain full fitness. Right now he declared himself 95-percent healthy.
“Ang focus ko ngayon ay maging healthy,” the pride of Leyte said. “Yung mga maintenance at workout ko para sa tuhod ko lagi kong ginagawa para pag bunutin ako ni coach Ato, makatulong ako sa team.”