BASTI Locsin was born toward the tailend of dad Noli's PBA career, but the 13-year-old is not oblivious to the success 'The Tank' had during his time.
Little wonder that his dream is to play for the one team where dad spent the best times of his career.
“Gusto ko sa Ginebra maglaro. Ako, dream ko talaga na sa Ginebra maglaro since nalaman ko na dad ko dun naglaro. Susundan ko (yapak) ni Papa,” said the young Locsin, an off-guard with the La Salle-Greenhills team in the 2015 Milcu x Got Skills Basketball Summer Showcase.
“Ginebra gusto ko. 'Dun siya pinakamatagal naglaro saka dun siya sumikat eh,” he told Spin.ph. "'Yun ang pangarap ko, masundan si Papa."
Basti has obviously brushed up on his PBA history, saying he believes his dad would not have become popular during his PBA days had he not played for Ginebra under charismatic playing coach Robert Jaworski.
The elder Locsin was the top overall pick in 1994 by Tondena 65 Rhum Masters (the old name of Ginebra) and won a championship (under Gordon’s Gin Boars) in the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup. He averaged 18.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his rookie season and spent five years with the Kings.
See highlights of Noli Locsin's career:
But for the son, who was born in 2001 when Locsin was already playing for his third team, Tanduay Rhum Masters, in a PBA career that also had stops at Red Bull, Talk 'N Text, Pop Cola and Sta. Lucia, Basti only remembers one team that his dad played for.
“Nung time na 'yun (naglalaro Papa ko) talagang Ginebra naiisip sa kanya 'pag nababanggit siya. 'Yung time na yun na mga sila Jaworski, pag sinabi mong Noli Locsin, Ginebra eh,” said the Greenies shooting guard.
When asked which other teams his dad had played for in the PBA, the kid stammered.
“Hindi ako sigurado kung Sta. Lucia, San Miguel, ay, hindi ako sigurado,” said the son.
Asked about the present struggles of Ginebra, Basti showed optimism that Ginebra can beat the odds same way his dad’s team recovered from the a woeful campaign in his first two years in the PBA highlighted by a 0-10 win-loss slate in the 1995 Governors’ Cup.
“Syempre, hindi naman puro ano 'yan. May ups and downs rin 'yan. Di pwedeng palaging panalo. Babangon 'yan. Ginebra 'yan eh. Never say die,” said Basti.
As for Basti's own basketball dream, La Salle Greenhills assistant coach Allen Ricardo hopes that the kid's lack of height would push the sweet-shooting guard to embrace a shift to the point guard spot.
“Yung height niya kasi hindi ganun sa father niya eh. He needs to play point. Yung speed niya kailangang i-improve niya pati mental toughness, physicality andun naman eh. May shooting siya,” said Ricardo, the tournament director of Milcu x Got Skills Showcase.
His dad agreed.
“Medyo alanganin ang height eh. Sana lumaki pa talaga. Off guard ang laro niya, alanganin sa posisyon eh. Matangkad kasi yung wife ko eh,” said Noli laughing while throwing a teasing glance at wife Maita.
“Sa point guard naman alanganin rin, medyo kailangan pa niya ng bilis,” he added.
Asked what team he wants his only son to play, Locsin said: “Ginebra, pero tignan natin ang takbo ng panahon! Pero sana makalaro din siya sa PBA. Siya lang ang chance ko dahil siya lang ang anak kong lalaki!”
Basti is the third child of Noli and Maita. The other kids are Alex, Gabe and Seth.
And what is his advice to his son?
“Sinasabi ko nga sa kanya, pag-igihan niya ang pag-eensayo. Ang daming nangangarap sa posisyon na 'yan (slot sa La Salle team), kaya kailangan ipakita niya na deserving siya sa posisyon na 'yan,” he said.
La Salle however lost to the finals to San Beda College-High School team, 60-52, of the Milcu x Got Skills championships presented by LGR Sports Wear, Magic 89.9, Gatorade Philippines, Blackwater Sports, Kawaski Motors and Honda Cars-Greenhills, at the Ronac Gym.
Here's a video of the interview with the Locsins: