THE entry of two expansion teams has given former PBA Rookie of the Year Richard Alvarez a new lease on life in his professional career after failing to find any takers this season.
The 6-foot-4 Alvarez is currently joining the tryouts of Team Kia under coach and world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the UCCL High Court gym inside the Unilab Compound along Pioneer, Mandaluyong.
While there’s no certainty if he’ll still be able to return to the PBA given the stiff competition in the forward position, the 33-year-old Alvarez said he’s out to prove he can still compete.
“If the opportunity is there, I’ll try, I’ll explore,” Alvarez told Spin.ph after the Team Kia’s tryout that is held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“You know, I put in a lot of years so, we’ll see how it goes. I can only do my best and be proud of myself,” he added.
The top pick overall of the 2004-05 rookie draft has played 10 seasons in the pro league with stops at Shell, Alaska, Red Bull, Purefoods, Air21 and Talk ‘N Text.
Alvarez played his last three years in the league with Talk ‘N Text. But with the Texters loaded with talent in the frontline, he was reduced to being a third-stringer.
The former UAAP Most Valuable Player averaged career-low numbers of 0.4 point, 1.1 rebounds and 0.2 assist in just 20 games in his last outing with the Tropang Texters in the 2012-13 season.
Still, Alvarez said he was proud to be part of a special batch of players at Talk ‘N Text, which he describes as a “good group."
“That’s a good group of guys to be around, competing with them everyday. Of course, I learned a lot.”