MIKE Tolomia will definitely enter this year’s PBA draft and given a choice, the Far Eastern University guard wants to end up with Barangay Ginebra.
The 23-year-old Tolomia said the timing is perfect for his decision to turn pro after capping his career with the FEU Tamaraws with the school's first UAAP championship in a decade.
“Wala na rin akong playing year tsaka nag-champion kami sa FEU. Tingin ko, ito na ‘yung best time na magpa-draft,” Tolomia said on Tuesday.
The Zamboanga native also expressed his desire to play for the league’s most popular team, not only because Ginebra has been his favorite growing up but also because it was the team that picked older brother Chester in the first round in the 2002 PBA Rookie Draft.
“’Yun na ‘yung nakalakihan ko at ‘yun ‘yung first team ng kuya ko sa PBA. ‘Yun ‘yung nag-draft sa kanya,” Tolomia said.
Tolomia said FEU coach Nash Racela has been a big help in terms of his preparation for the PBA. Aside from his coaching job at the Tamaraws, Racela is one of the assistant coaches of Talk ‘N Text and the Gilas national team.
“Nakikita na niya kung ano ‘yung nangyayari sa PBA. Ngayon pa lang, natuturuan na niya ako, sinasabi na niya kung ano dapat ang preparation ko pagdating sa PBA,” Tolomia said.
After his career with FEU, Tolomia is now focused on the PBA D-League where he is part of a Phoenix Petroleum team made up of the nucleus of the Tamaraws' UAAP champion team.
Tolomia is confident the FEU-backed Phoenix Petroleum squad is capable of making at least the semifinal round of the Aspirants Cup.
“Ang target namin is semifinals. Malaki ‘yung chance namin na makapasok sa semifinals,” said Tolomia.
Tolomia also expressed hios gratitude to the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) as it was in the program's league that spotted his potential and tapped him to play for the national team while playing for FEU.
"Dahil sa NBTC, na-invite ako na mag-tryout sa national team," said Tolomia, who saw action for the Philippines in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games 3-on-3 competition.