A YOUNG man who inexplicaby sunk into oblivion after scoring a record 82 points in an NCAA juniors game is eager to make the most of his second chance.
After a long hiatus, Keith Agovida resurfaced on Friday as a member of the Arellano University team in its debut game in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, scoring 11 points in the Chiefs' 74-65 win over University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.
The game marked Agovida's return to the big leagues after a stellar juniors career with the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers where, in 2008, he scored 82 points in a 127-49 rout of Malayan Mapua, settting a scoring record that still stands to this day.
He was tagged, and with good reason, as the "next big thing" in basketball after that performance. Instead, his career has been marked by one disappointment after another since.
Agovida’s career suffered several setbacks when he moved up to the college ranks, the promising 6-3 forward unable to break into the lineups of the senior teams of La Salle and National University due to constant problems with his academic performance.
Now under the wings of Arellano head coach Koy Banal, the now-23-year-old Agovida has admitted his faults in the past and is looking forward, eager to make the most of the new lease on life.
“Nagloko po kasi ako eh,” said Agovida, who had spent a lot of time toiling for the Team B of his former teams, including Arellano. “Lesson po sa akin ‘yung na dapat matagal na po akong naglalaro ng basketball.”
Banal still has high hopes for Agovida.
“Dapat nasa PBA na siya ngayon,” Banal said. “Hindi siya nag-focus sa pag-aaral noon. Pero sinabi ko sa kanya na huwag na isipin ‘yung nagkaraan and just look ahead.
"I told him to make the most out of (his second chance).”
After several career setbacks, Agovida appears to be a changed man, vowing to make his academics a top priority and put more premium on teamwork.
“Goal ko ngayon sa Arellano, makapagtapos ng pag-aaral at madala ang Chiefs sa Final Four," he said. "Kapag nagtulungan kami ng mga teammates ko, kaya po namin mag-Final Four or (makarating sa) championship.”
Banal likes what he's hearing from Agovida so far.
“I like that kasi ‘yun ang in-eemphasize namin sa team,” Banal said.