NO words can express how excited Jerie Pingoy is as he’s finally on the verge of playing for Ateneo this season.
The 20-year-old Pingoy will now be eligible to play for the Blue Eagles in the coming Season 78 of the UAAP after spending a two-year residency with the school following his controversial transfer from Far Eastern University-Diliman.
The young rookie admitted he can’t describe his feeling the long wait for him is now over.
“Sobrang excited. Sobra. Sobra,” said the Cebuano guard when Spin.ph recently caught up with him.
“Wala akong masabi. Sabi ko nga after two years, nasabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Eto na Lord. Salamat at hindi mo ako pinabayaan at nandito pa rin ako sa Ateneo,’” he said.
Pingoy was a two-time UAAP juniors Most Valuable while seeing action for the Baby Tamaraws before deciding to move from FEU to Ateneo in college.
The bitter parting of ways following the controversial transfer led to the UAAP making sweeping changes to its rule by increasing the residency period from one to two for high school graduates transferring to another UAAP school.
The rule change which affected not just Pingoy but other high school athletes, was met with much criticism as the issue even reached the halls of the Senate.
The UAAP eventually had a change of heart by reverting back to the old rule of a one-year residency period starting in Season 78.
Pingoy said he has been attending practices for the UAAP pool of Ateneo. But after spending his residency period playing in Team B, he admitted still needing time to practically adjust to his new teammates with the Blue Eagles.
“Most of them, naglalaro na sila sa UAAP. Ako wala pang experience. Kailangan ko pa rin maka-recover at mag-adjust,” said the son of former PBA players Jerry Pingoy.
He got a tune-up of sorts as he tries to adjust in the UAAP level of play after he was invited by Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin to attend the tryouts for the national cadet pool that will play for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship and the Southeast Asian Games this year.
Although he was not selected to be part of the pool, Pingoy was nonetheless honored to have gained a chance of making it to the national team again.
“Okay naman ‘yung tryouts kasi ‘yung iba teammates ko, ‘yung iba nakalaro ko na. Medyo mahirap lang dahil mas experienced sila,” said Pingoy, a former member of the national youth team.
“Pero thankful and happy kasi wala naman akong background yet (sa UAAP). Wala pa masyadong nakakakilala sa akin pero na-invite ako. Honor sa akin,” he added.