PBA legend Fortunato 'Atoy' Co is convinced homegrown cagers can learn a thing or two from the Fil-foreign players in terms of work ethic and dedication.
Co, a PBA pioneer who had a colorful 13-year pro career, said he has seen since his return to coaching last season that some homegrown standouts tend to act like "babies."
“Now that I’m coaching Mapua, I don’t like to say this, but yung mga homegrown, masyadong baby, pero yung mga Fil-Am parang mas sanay sa hard work, saka yung tough practices,” Co told Spin.ph.
Dubbed the 'Fortune Cookie,' the one-time PBA MVP said players raised outside the country tend to develop an admirable work ethic, which local players can emulate.
“Iba kasi ang practices sa US kesa dito eh, so as much as possible, we bring college players to the US for training,” the Crispa Redmanizers great said.
Co, 62, said he came away impressed with some Fil-foreign players during the All-Star festivities on Saturday, when he acted as judge in the slam-dunk contest and coach in the Greats vs. Stalwarts game opposite former Crispa teammate Bogs Adornado.
He made special mention of San Mig rookie guard Justin Melton, who, at 5-9, shared top honors with Meralco's Rey Guevarra in the slam dunk contest and made a couple of amazing plays in the Greats vs. Stalwarts game which ended in a 136-all standoff.
“I’m more impressed with Melton. Dati kasi kapag not more than six feet, di ka makaka-dunk, pero ngayon, there’s a guy who can really dunk. I’m really impressed,” said the former Mapua star.