BECOMING a member of the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws juniors basketball squad isn’t as easy as you might think.
On Tuesday, around a thousand aspirants showed up for the open tryouts called by the Baby Tamaraws' coaching staff and held at the school’s Diliman campus in Quezon City.
FEU coach Allan Albano was taken aback by the turnout, saying it was a lot more than he has seen since he started attending the tryouts for the Baby Tamaraws.
Reached by SPIN.ph around noontime while still in the middle of the tryouts, Albano estimated around 250 aspirants showed up for the tryouts that started at 10:30 a.m.
The FEU juniors coach said the figure reached close to 1,000 when asked about the turnaround a second time in the afternoon.
“Mas marami kesa last year. Nagulat ako,” said Albano.
From the hundreds of aspirants, the FEU coaching staff will pick around eight players, although Albano said they will likely turn the rest of the tryouts into a by-invitation event after Wednesday.
Albano said the Baby Tamaraws’ conquest of the UAAP Season 79 juniors championship may have something to do with the huge jump in the number of aspirants.
“Dati, 18, para sa akin, marami na ‘yun nung mga panahon na ‘yun. Tapos nung nagpa-tryout ako sa Morayta, naging 40. Tapos nung nakapasok na kami sa Final Four, umaabot na sa 200,” said Albano.
FEU athletic director Mark Molina, however, was no longer surprised with the turnout, saying he once saw about 500 college and high school players attending a tryout at their Morayta gym.
“Umaabot sa 500 sa Morayta every year,” said Molina, who swore the line became so long it reached as far as the McDonald’s branch along C.M. Recto Avenue.
Even though not all of them will be selected, FEU has a good track record in spotting players from these tryouts, with Albano mentioning Xyrus Torres as one of the success stories.
Torres was the top scorer of the Baby Tamaraws after averaging 12.2 points during the elimination round last season.
Who knows, another ‘diamond in the rough’ is waiting to be discovered from this multitude.