KERBY Raymundo may no longer be active in the PBA, but he remains in touch with league stars both retired and active.
Since being forced into retirement by a complex knee injury in 2015, the former Red Bull, Ginebra and Purefoods star has been acting as a life coach to some PBA players, especially those looking to prepare for life after basketball.
Raymundo, you see, has become involved in a number of businesses since calling time on his playing career and has naturally been sought for advice by players like former Letran star Jerrick Balanza and Meralco's Raymond Almazan.
“Ayaw ko kasing mamali ng decision ang mga batang players. Kaya as early as now gina-guide ko sila pag kailangan nila," he says. "Si Jerrick nga lang kausap ko two nights ago. Kasi gusto rin daw nya mag-business."
His advice, no doubt, makes a lot of business sense.
First of, his first advice to any PBA player wishing to hurry into a business venture while still active is plain and simple: Don't.
Raymundo says he'd rather see PBA players give their basketball careers the full, undivided attention that these deserve. They need only to make sure to save a portion of their huge salaries for the future, he adds.
“Sabi ko kay Jerrick, ‘You cannot serve two masters at the same time,'" Raymundo says of the former Ginebra draftee who was recently traded to NorthPort. "Mag-business ka ngayon di mo lang matutukan, matatalo lang ang puhunan.
"Mahirap i-monitor ang in and out [ng business], lalo na 'yung produkto mo mahirap sa inventory." Instead, he advises them to 'maglaro ka muna ngayon, tapos kapag pababa na career mo, pray for it. Saka ka mag-business.”
Raymundo believes that apart from saving money, players should learn to value their basketball careers and treat it as their first major investment.
“Sinasabi ko sa mga players, wag muna mag-isip ng iba. Mag-ipon muna sila then galingan ang basketball career. Play the game the right way and play with integrity. Pag gumanda laro mo, tataas ang sweldo mo. Yun ang sales mo ngayon,” he explains.
“Basic dyan sa player is yung disiplina and improving one’s character. It’s what you are when you are alone. Extra work before and after practice, disiplina sa katawan. Wag iaasa lahat sa practice kasi babagal improvement mo.
“You are the subtotal of all the decisions you make in life. Lahat ng choices kung paano mo gagamitin pera mo, ikaw yan.”
Raymundo, an NCAA MVP out of Letran who played 13 seasons in the PBA, said he owed a lot to basketball but at the same time never looked at it as his endgame.
“Malaki utang na loob ko sa basketball, pero sa kin part lang ng buhay yan na dadaan," he says. "You have to prepare for the future, which is mas mahaba and mas maraming demands like pagpapalaki ng mga anak mo."
That, my friends, is a slam dunk.