AFTER a four-year wait, Joshua Torralba is looking forward to playing competitive basketball again.
The 21-year-old Torralba is part of the De La Salle team in Season 78 of the UAAP after taking a year of residency, the last step in what had been a long, four-year journey for the Green Archer.
The 6-foot-2 guard/forward has actually been waiting a lot longer as he last played organized basketball in the country in 2011 yet with the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals in the NCAA.
Following his stint with the Generals, Torralba returned to the US and was supposed to play for University of Texas-Pan America, an NCAA Division I school.
Following a one-year residency, his stint with the school failed to prosper though.
“The coach got fired. A new coach came in. Ayaw sa akin,” Torralba related when asked to explain what happened to his stint with UTPA.
Fortunately for him, he got a call from De La Salle sometime in 2013, and immediately took the opportunity to return to the country and play collegiate ball again.
He took another year of residency with the Green Archers before becoming eligible to play this season.
“I was ready to play. Then, La Salle contacted me. It’s a blessing for me,” said Torralba.
As expected, Torralba said he is excited to finally play again after being listed as part of La Salle’s 15-man roster this season.
“It’s like three years I’ve been taking residency,” Torralba said. “I mean I’ve been practicing, playing pick-up ball. Pero ‘yung league talaga, hindi pa. Well, I played in the Filoil (preseason tournament). It got my feet wet. Pero ‘yung UAAP talaga, I’m excited.”
His La Salle debut, however, will have to wait anew after he suffered an injury in his right wrist prior to the season opener that could sideline him for up to three weeks.
But if he can wait four years, what's another couple of weeks, right?
“I’ll make sure I’m playing in the first round. It’s been healing. Hopefully, I could play earlier,” said Torralba.
While he is playing for La Salle for the first time, Torralba hopes his previous experience with the Generals will help him with his stint with the Taft-based school.
“I’m not that old but I’m older than the rookies. I want to use that as an advantage to push them. I want to be an X-factor. I can play the three spot, the two spot, whatever coach wants me to do,” said Torralba.
“We are good as far as chemistry in the team. We are going to work hard even more this season,” he added.