THROUGHOUT his career particularly in the Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) with the Manila Metrostars, Ruben Dela Rosa made a name for himself with his high-flying dunks.
One such slam in a game against the Cagayan De Oro Nuggets in the inaugural MBA season stood out from the rest.
In a game held at the Mindanao Polytechnic State College in Cagayan De Oro, Dela Rosa blew past fellow ex-pro Peter Naron before soaring past tight traffic to jam the ball in with a foul to boot.
“’Yung sa Cagayan, ‘yung tatlo ‘yung humarang. Bahala na ‘to. Pipilitin ko mag-dunk. Foul counted ‘yun,” Dela Rosa recalled in an interview with SPIN.ph from his home in Carigara, Leyte.
“‘Yun ang pinakamagandang highlight kasi foul counted pa,” Dela Rosa said.
The dunk against the Nuggets was just one of many for Dela Rosa, who took the MBA route after playing two seasons with Purefoods in 1996 and 1997.
Now 49, Dela Rosa said he is glad that most of his dunks can be seen on YouTube for his fans and kids to appreciate.
“Sa YouTube nga, natutuwa nga ako eh. Naka-save na rin sa akin. Pati anak ko, niloloko ako sabi ang taba ko na daw,” said Dela Rosa when SPIN.ph finally tracked him down through former Metrostars assistant coach Ariel Vanguardia.
Long before his MBA experience, Dela Rosa played for Mapua where he won back-to-back titles in the NCAA with Benny Cheng during the 1990s. He was drafted by Purefoods third overall in the 1996 draft, but played sparingly.
He played for two seasons with the Metrostars including in 1999 when they won the national crown.
Dela Rosa, brother of longtime PBA player Romy and uncle of current Magnolia player Rome, credited life in the province for his amazing spring.
“Mula pagkabata ako, ‘yung trabaho ko bukid at dagat. Parang [Manny] Pacquiao ba," Dela Rosa said. "Malakas ang kinakain. Fresh lahat. Siguro dun ko nakuha ‘yung talon ko."