FORMER Asean Basketball League (ABL) MVP Leo Avenido is looking to make one last run in his professional career as he tries to land a spot in the lineup of Alaska.
With the status of reigning ABL champion San Miguel uncertain following reports of its disbandment, the 6-foot-2 guard out of Far Eastern University began joining the Aces in practice two weeks ago in the hope of earning a spot in the team's crowded backcourt.
So far, Avenido said he’s enjoying his time with the Aces, a team that performed quite well in the 38th season of the PBA on Luigi Trillo’s first year as full-time head coach.
“Second week ko na ito sa pag-practice sa team and so far, positive naman. May disiplina saka may sistema. Hindi sila bara-bara,” Avenido shared to Spin.ph on Wednesday.
Should he manage to land a spot and be signed up, the 35-year-old hard-nosed veteran said he won’t mind playing as a third or fourth stringer considering Alaska's depth at the backcourt starting with playmaker JV Casio.
Casio’s regular backup is RJ Jazul, followed by incoming sophomore Raphael Reyes.
“Eh tayo naman hangga’t may trabaho, tanggapin lang. Eh bilang na rin naman ang playing years ko. Basta lang makalaro at maging healthy,” said Avenido, who has played for Coca-Cola, Talk ‘N Text, Air21 and Barako Bull since being picked 10th overall during the 2002 rookie draft.
Avenido is coming off a championship stint with the Beermen in the ABL last June where they swept the Indonesia Warriors in the Finals, 3-0.
The soft-spoken combo guard was named the 2012 ABL MVP and averaged decent numbers of 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists with the Beermen this season.
He happily sacrificed his offense to give way to San Miguel’s stars that included reigning league MVP Asi Taulava, Finals MVP Chris Banchero, and a slew of talented local players led by JR Cawaling, RJ Rizada, and Paolo Hubalde together with imports Justin Williams and Brian Williams.