THERE'S a saying that goes familiarity breeds contempt.
But for Ryan Monteclaro, familiarity brought him closer to home in the form of his former Adamson coach and now San Miguel mentor Leo Austria.
Keeping his expectations meager come the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, the 27-year-old Monteclaro could not hold back his smile when a familiar voice called his name on the mic in the third round as it was Austria himself who took his old guard in as the Beermen's newest recruit.
It was a no-brainer, really, for the three-time PBA Coach of the Year.
"Alam ng lahat na player ko siya sa Adamson pero walang pumipick up sa kanya. Eh di binigyan ko siya at yung team namin ng opportunity na umakyat sa stage at ako na ang kumuha," he said.
Though Monteclaro might not be as fancied as his peers and he may stand as one of the shortest in the class at 5-foot-7, Austria very well knows the heart he carries, especially with the tribulations he's had in his life.
"After losing yung parents niya, bumangon siya eh. Nagkaroon siya ng vision. Na-surprise ako sa mga posts niya na nasa Vietnam siya at nasa Paris siya," he said. "Sobrang saya ko tuwing nakikita ko yun kasi parang anak ko na siya."
Like a father that he is, Austria didn't bat an eyelash giving Monteclaro a warm hug as they found themselves reunited once again, both hoping to achieve success which they were deprived of back in their days with the Soaring Falcons.
Monteclaro may have an uphill climb to crack the San Miguel roster, especially with the level of talent the team boasts bannered by Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter.
The competition will most certainly be a lot tougher with the entry of new acquisitions Terrence Romeo and Paul Zamar to join with veteran Chico Lanete and young guns Von Pessumal and Louie Vigil.
But for Austria, whether or not his rookie makes the cut of the Beermen, he knows that Monteclaro will be alright.
"I think whatever happens sa kanya, he's going to be fine. Marami na siyang pagsubok na nadaanan at alam ko na kaya niyang lampasan lahat ng yun," he said.