SEVERAL players are hoping a minor detour after college basketball has prepared them well for the Philippine Basketball Association.
Former Jose Rizal University standout Teytey Teodoro is in his second season with the Batangas City Athletics in the MPBL, and said the stint has been a huge help in terms of adjusting to the physicality of the higher leagues.
“Magkaiba kasi collegiate kasi doon (MPBL). Mas maraming beterano at utakan ‘yung game doon. Physicality, halos same lang (sa PBA),” said Teodoro, who was one of the key players in the Athletics’ run at the inaugural Rajah Cup.
Letran’s Bong Quinto also plays for the Athletics, said competing against ex-PBA players allowed him to test his readiness for the big league.
“Sa akin kasi, doon ko sinusukat kung puwede na ako eh. Kasi minsan, may mga galing PBA, ako ‘yung style ko na bangga ako nang bangga. So most of the time, nagpopost ako kila Mac Cardona, ‘yung mga galing sa PBA.
“Habang dumidiskarte ako sa kanila, binabasa ko na, eto sobrang galing niya, parang ngayon nandito siya. Sa kanya ko sinusukat kung kaya ko,” said the former Letran Knight.
Quinto said playing in the MPBL also allowed him to work with or play against his childhood idols.
“Mga idol ko sila nung bata. Nakakatuwa na nakakalaban naming sila doon. ‘Yung experience na binigay nung mga teams lalo na Batangas City, grabe ‘yung experience na binigay nila sa akin, ‘yung tiwala nila sa akin,” he said.
Former University of the Philippines player Kyles Lao said he also learned a bit on how PBA players work during his stint with the Manila Stars. He mentioned Roger Yap, who at 41 remains a consummate pro even in practice.
“It’s not only in the games but also in the practices,” Lao said. “Kasi in Manila, si Kuya Roger ang captain. Ang gusto ni Kuya Roger, talagang PBA type of approach. Professional tayo dito. Trabaho natin ‘to.”
“Dapat wala na biro biro or katuwaan. We are paid to play. Passion natin but then it’s also your job. Maraming na-impart sa akin ‘yung opponents and siyempre teammates sa akin. We are all gunning for the PBA at some point. Siguro ‘yung na-impart nilang knowledge, nabigay sa amin,” he said.