Irony not lost on Zamar as he makes PBA debut against team that drafted him in 2012
Paul Zamar is set to make a long-overdue PBA debut in Blackwater's game against Ginebra, the same team that drafted him in the fourth round back in 2012 but left him unsigned. Jerome Ascano

JUST look at how fate works.

Free agent Paul Zamar makes his long-overdue PBA debut on Friday as he suits up for Blackwater opposite the very same team which drafted but didn’t sign him six years ago.

The Elite go up against the Barangay Ginebra Kings in a battle between winless teams in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan, Laguna and marks the first game in the league for the 30-year-old Zamar following his stellar stint with Mono Vampire of Thailand in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

Zamar’s debut was long in coming after failing to crack Ginebra’s lineup back in 2012 as a rookie guard picked by the team in the fourth round (35th overall) of the draft.

He recalled fighting for the final cut in the Kings’ roster for the 2012-13 season.

‘Nag-practice ako sa kanila nun for almost a month,” recalled the son of San Miguel Beer deputy coach Boycie Zamar.

But the Kings, under coach Siot Tanquingcen at the time, had a heavy backcourt rotation that revolves around former MVPs Mark Caguioa and JayJay Helterbrand, and then newly-acquired guard LA Tenorio, leaving practically no more room for another playmaker like Zamar.

“Halos sabay kaming na-cut noon ni Jeric Canada,” said Zamar of the former Adamson stalwart, who was also tabbed by Ginebra in the third round (28th overall) of the same draft.

After failing to get the call from the Kings, Zamar toiled around the PBA D-League and later, the Thailand Super Basketball League, which opened the door for him to hook up with Mono Vampire in the ABL.

Zamar fell short of steering the Bangkok-based ballclub to the championship after losing the deciding Game Five of the Finals against Alab Pilipinas.

But even before the title series could end, Blackwater already had its eyes set on Zamar and lost no time signing up the product of University of the East to a contract.


Zamar said he’s definitely motivated suiting up for the Elite.

“I’m excited in general, not just because my current team will go up against Ginebra, which drafted me back then, but because this is going to be my very first game in the PBA,” he stressed.

And for the record, there’s no hard feelings on his part for Ginebra’s decision to leave him behind.

“None (at all),” said Zamar. “I don’t hold any grudge against them,” he said. “It’s part of the business in professional sports.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos