WITH the cancellation of the UAAP Season 83, Ken Tuffin has decided to stay put in New Zealand and turn professional.
In a lengthy post on Monday, the 6-foot-5 sniper announced his decision to forego his last playing year with Far Eastern University and focus on his career in the New Zealand National Basketball League (NZNBL).
"With the recent cancellation of UAAP Season 83 and after much thought and discussion over the last few weeks, I’ve come to the decision to forego my final playing year in FEU and instead play here in the NZNBL for a season. This decision was hard for me but in times of uncertainty, I felt the need to do what’s best for me and have some certainty about what I’m doing right now," he wrote.
The Fil-Kiwi Tuffin was intent on playing his final year with the Tamaraws even as he suited up for the Taranaki Mountainairs last season.
There, he posted 9.2 points on 43-percent shooting from rainbow country, alongside 4.3 rebounds in 23.6 minutes through 15 games as Taranaki made it to the semis of the 2020 Sal's NBL Showdown.
His performance there allowed him to be shortlisted in the Tall Blacks' pool for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
He was previously named as a part of coach Chot Reyes' "23-for-2023" Gilas cadets list.
Tuffin said that for now, all of his focus will be on his career in New Zealand. But that doesn't mean the PBA isn't in his pipeline as he plans to join the next draft.
"The end goal remains the PBA and I'm targetting to join the 2022 PBA Draft," he told Spin.ph.
Tuffin served as the team captain for the Tamaraws last UAAP Season 82, where he netted 7.5 points on 39-percent clip from threes, on top of 3.7 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
It turned out to be his final year for the green-and-gold with the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out what should have been his swansong in Morayta.