RANDY Dilay sat uneasily as he was one of 10 remaining rookie hopefuls that had yet to be called up on stage in the PBA Draft on Sunday at Robinsons Place.
Although staying positive throughout the proceedings, the Filipino-American guard was prepared for the worst had it ended without him hearing his name.
“I was ready to prepare if I wasn’t picked,” Dilay admitted in a short with Spin.ph after the draft.
But then he heard his name from new league commissioner Chito Narvasa when he announced Blackwater’s first pick in the eighth round.
The next teams passed, making Dilay the last pick of the draft that saw a record 54 players become part of this year’s draftees.
“It was a relief,” he said. “I’m grateful my name was called.”
“There were so many emotions,” he added. “I was just waiting for my name to be called. I just stayed positive through it all.”
Like everyone else, getting drafted was a dream come true for Dilay, who turned 24 this month.
“It’s everybody’s dream, especially from being a little kid watching NBA drafts, everyone just wants to hear their name and get picked and get on stage.”
“I’m grateful for my family, my cousins, my girlfriend back home,” added the Chicago native, who played in the D-League for Tanduay. “She’s been keeping me sane throughout this whole summer.”
Now, the hard work begins for Dilay, who’s well aware his drafting doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot. The Elite had eight draft picks, the most this year.
“I’m going to start working, fight for a roster spot,” the 6-foot-1 shooter vowed. “I’m going to come in early and stay after practice. I have a lot to prove. This isn’t the end. I’m ready to make my mark.”
“I’m going to do what the coach needs me to do and hopefully I can stick around.”