IF the choice is down to him, rising star Jerie Pingoy wants to be a Far Eastern University Tamaraw.
“Gusto ko talaga FEU din,” said the 17-year-old Baby Tamaraws standout, who is expected to be one of the most sought-after high school seniors in the offseason after winning back-to-back MVP awards in the UAAP juniors division.
When asked why, Pingoy said: “Kasi loyalty.”
Pingoy was the junior league’s top scorer with an average of 21 points a game and put a fitting end to his high school career by leading the Baby Tamaraws to their first championship since Johnny Abarrientos led the team to the juniors crown in 1987.
FEU-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver said the school will be doing everything to keep Pingoy to boost the Tamaraws, who missed the Final Four this season despite finishing with a 9-5 win-loss card in the eliminations.
“As of now, hindi pa napag-uusapan,” said Oliver. “Definitely, si Pingoy mino-mold as (the next) Johnny Abarrientos na nakapag-bigay ng championship sa high school.”
“Mahirap naman kung mapunta sa iba,” Oliver added.
Ateneo is rumored to be one of the suitors of Pingoy, although the Cebu native said that no one has talked to him about the possibility of moving to other schools.
“Blessing ito dahil binigay ni Lord ‘yung back-to-back MVPs. Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga ka-teammates ko na tinulungan nila ako,” said Pingoy, son of former PBA player Jerry.
The scoring guard had 32 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals as the Baby Tams completed a sweep of National University in the best-of-three finals. He shot 8-of-30 from the field and converted 15 of his 23 free throws.
“Ang goal ko talaga mag-champion kasi ‘yun ang hinahangad naming lahat,” said Pingoy.