IF you've noticed the uncanny similarities between University of the East senior Lord Casajeros and another former Red Warrior, Ronald Tubid, don't be surprised.
The similarities both in looks and style of play are not incidental.
“Actually, idol ko talaga siya eh. Napa-timing naman na andito ako sa UE,” said Casajeros, adding he already looked up to the flamboyant PBA veteran even before he joined the Red Warriors in the UAAP.
Comparisons are actually inevitable between Casajeros and Tubid, from the tattoos spread across their lean frames to the goatees to the hairstyle.
Casajeros said he also tried as much as possible to play just like Tubid - the reason perhaps the UE player has become one of the most feisty defenders in college last season and, just like his idol, has gotten into a couple of on-court skirmishes himself.
“Pinangatawanan ko na talaga. Pero idol ko talaga siya dati pa," said Casajeros.
Casajeros has been accused of playing dirty at times by fans and last season was in fact slapped with a suspension by the UAAP Commissioner’s Office.
But the 23-year-old Casajeros said he was only trying to become the best defender that he can be.
“Part naman ng game ‘yan eh. Ngayon nga, hindi ko na-feel ‘yung UAAP kasi hindi ko nailabas ‘yung pagiging defender ko. Kasi ‘yun ang inaasahan sa akin, maging defender,” said Casajeros.
Just like Tubid, Casajeros said he does whatever it takes to stop an opponent.
“Minsan tinitimpla ko rin, depende sa sitwasyon kung kailangan ko ba maging rugged o pisikal, minsan kakausapin ko para mawala sa focus,” said Casajeros.
He may have a rugged persona on the court, but Casajeros insisted that he is different off-the-court.
“Off the court, tahimik lang ako lalo na sa quarters,” he added.
Casajeros said he had the chance to meet his favorite player when Tubid dropped by one of UE’s practices last season.
“Nag-meet na rin kami at nag-uusap kami. Pumunta na siya sa practice para maglaro, nagturo rin siya,” said Casajeros.
Having played out his career with the UE Warriors, Casajeros is set to suit up in the PBA D-League with his sights set on joining his idol Tubid in the pro league in the future.
"Sana magkaabot kami (sa PBA),” said Casajeros.