KYLES Lao has made the rounds in leagues around the country and will now try his hand at the big league – the PBA.
The former University of the Philippines stalwart has filed his application for the Rookie Draft set on Dec. 16 at the Robinson’s Place in Ermita.
After four seasons with the Maroons in the UAAP, a stint with AMA in the PBA D-League, and currently, with the Manila Stars in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, the 23-year-old Lao said its finally time to take a gamble and try to fulfill his childhood dream.
“It’s a dream for me to play in the PBA ever since I was young. It’s also a dream for my family,” said the former UAAP Rookie of the Year, who submitted his draft application last Thursday at the PBA office in Libis.
The league has yet to release a list of local players who already applied pending the final deadline of submission on Dec. 3.
Deadline among Fil-foreign players already ended last Oct. 26, with former NCAA MVP CJ Perez leading this year’s batch of seven foreign-born applicants.
The coming draft expected to be guard-heavy, and the 6-foot Lao naturally has mixed feelings about it.
“There is also pressure because I don’t know what will happen,” said Lao, who currently averaged 10.0 points per game with the Manila Stars. “It’s not a sure thing if I’ll be selected in the first, second, third round, or if I’ll be picked in the draft.”
But having been under such coaches as Bo Perasol, Mark Herrera, and now with PBA great Philip Cezar gives Lao the confidence there is still a room for him in Asia’s first ever pro league.
“My stint with the UP Fighting Maroons, with the AMA team, and now with the Manila Stars, it all helped me as a basketball player,” he said. “With the people I played with and played for, they all gave me the confidence to aim for my dream to play in the PBA.”
The final list of draft applicants will be released by the league on Dec. 14 just a day after the traditional Draft Combine on Dec. 12-13.