INSTEAD of the PBA, one-time time Smart-Gilas member JR Cawaling is taking his act to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) with the San Miguel Beermen.
Cawaling pulled out his application three days before the PBA rookie draft and set his sights on the fledgling regional cage league which the former Far Eastern University swingman believes could be the perfect avenue for him to regain his form after recovering from an ACL injury the past year.
Ed Ponceja, Cawaling’s agent, confirmed this to Spin.ph in a phone interview.
“JR is headed to the ABL, specifically sa San Miguel Beer kaya siya actually nag-back out,” he said.
“Although the ABL has fewer games compared to the PBA kasi three conferences ang format [ng PBA], pero somehow the ABL can help JR regain his confidence, his old playing form, kasi galing din naman siya before sa ACL injury.”
San Miguel Beer team manager Rico Meneses was obviously elated with the decision of the 6-foot-2 Cawaling.
“Actually, JR was weighing his options the past days, and we told him, he’s always welcome to play for us. We’ve been good friends since our Gilas days,” added Meneses, who was once involved with the national team during the reign of Serbian coach Rajko Toroman.
While San Miguel has yet to regroup one-and-a-half months since the Beermen lost to the Indonesia Warriors in the ABL Finals, Meneses said he expects Cawaling to be an added scoring threat for the team when the fourth season of the league kicks off next year.
The ABL 2013 season kicks off in January, giving Cawaling enough time to get himself back in shape, strengthen his leg and be ready to contribute to the Beermen’s championship drive.