IT came as no surprise to most people, really, that Danica Jose is not only playing for the Ateneo women’s basketball team in the UAAP but also exceeding expectations.
Well, it came as a surprise to her dad.
Former PBA player Bobby Jose never expected his eldest child to play the game or much less excel in it, not only because he never saw her play and he never once made an effort to teach her the sport.
“Nasa dugo na nila eh,” said Bobby, whose son Ivan also plays for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets. “Actually nag-retire na ako nung pinanganak sila kaya nakakatuwa na dahil parang nasa dugo na talaga nila ang basketball.”
Bobby Joe, now 45 and an entrepreneur in his native Bulacan, has all the reasons to be proud of his daughter, an incoming senior majoring in mass communications.
Pretty Danica was a force in the paint for the Lady Eagles this season, topping her team with averages of 12.1 points and 14.1 rebounds and posting 21 rebounds twice in games in the UAAP.
Danica was rewarded with a place in the UAAP Mythical Five, joining MVP Camille Sambile of Far Eastern University, Ara Abaca of De La Salle, Afril Bernardino of National University, and Maica Cortes of University of Santo Tomas.
“Siyempre proud ako, hindi lang ‘yung school pero ‘yung buong family,” said Bobby Joe, a former star at University of Santo Tomas who was a member of San Miguel's grand slam-winning team in 1989.
Bobby, who also had a stint with Alaska in the pro league, said he was pleasantly surprised to see Danica pick up the sport and start doing well as she got taller in high school.
“Nung high school, matangkad na siya. Hindi ko naman siya pinilit, talagang gusto niya. Naging part pa siya ng U16 team nung nasa Miriam siya under coach Pat Aquino,” said the proud dad.
However, he doesn't see Danica playing beyond college owing to the absence of a commercial women's league in the country.
“Ang mahirap sa Pilipinas, walang PBA na pambabae kaya baka mag-work na siya,” he said.