By: Alexandrea Suñga
RAIN or Shine rookie Javee Mocon was once a kid looking up to his basketball idols, and now he has the chance to do the same for others.
The PBA rising star grew up watching the anime series Slam Dunk and, the show’s protagonist, Hanamichi Sakuragi, who had known nothing about basketball but never gave up until he finally learned how to play the sport, inspired Mocon to always give his best in everything he does.
Mocon did not only want to imitate Sakuragi’s perseverance and will but also his jersey number when he entered San Beda high school.
“Sobrang sikat kasi ng Slam Dunk noong childhood ko and sobrang saya niyang [Sakuragi] panoorin kasi he started from nothing, hindi nga siya marunong [magbasketball],” said Mocon during one of their games in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Pero blessed siya kasi matangkad siya, mataas tumalon, athletic siya. So parang nami-mirror ko ang sarili ko sa kanya,” he added.
Unfortunately it wasn’t available when he got into San Beda University, his teammate and former Red Lions import Donald Tankoua was hesitant to give away the number to him.
“Actually, number 9 ako sa San Beda kasi nga si Donald matigas ‘yung ulo. Ayaw niya ibigay ‘yung number 10 sa’kin,“ said Mocon.
Now that he’s in the PBA, Mocon feels that he has the opportunity to inspire other people, especially young kids, the way his anime idol did to him.
“And dito sa PBA si Kuya Ping [Marc Pingris], ‘diba siya ‘yung Pinoy Sakuragi, nakakamotivate din siya,” said Mocon.
“Ngayon na ako na rin ‘yung may chance na andito sa PBA, kids are watching you, they look up to you kaya gagawin mo ang lahat para ma-inspire sila lalo,” he added.
“Kasi ako naging bata rin ako, I look up to these guys na teammates ko na, and sila rin kaya din nila [‘yun matupad ang pangarap nila] and nakakataba lang ng puso,” he continued.