Reality bites in PBA Draft; road to pros not always easy

first_imgComelec assures no disruption in operations with retirement of execs Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “It’s gonna be hard, realistically, it’s hard,” said coach Topex Robinson, whose career was a counter-narrative to the tale of woe of many a college star. Robinson was not that big a name in college but was blessed with a lot of success in the pros while playing for Red Bull.“Only a handful have easy access to the PBA,” Robinson, now a coach, added. “Most people who stay in the league are the ones who always outwork everybody.”Dario’s personal trainer, Patrick Tancioco, thinks his ward can eventually sign a contract despite the odds.“He wants to prove something. He feels like people have written him off,” Tancioco, who worked with Dario prior the UAAP season, told the Inquirer.“We had to start by cleaning his lens,” he revealed. “He was impatient. He wasn’t comfortable. He has had his share of breakout performances in the past. Earlier this year, he felt he was underutilized. It’s tough to actually perform if one’s not physically and mentally ready.”Dario is ready now. There is a blueprint for guys like him to land a contract and he hopes to follow that to the letter.Dirty work“Coach Topex told me that in the draft, teams aren’t looking for stars,” Dario said. “He said that clubs are looking for the guys who are willing to do the dirty work, the stuff most players overlook.”For someone who once dreamed of being like Jayson Castro or LA Tenorio, and who looked to fit the bill just two weeks before the draft, Dario now has as his peg Anjo Caram, an NCAA star who earns his contract by being Meralco’s go-to defensive guy at the guard position.“I’ll just continue to be myself—a super pesky defender. And hit open shots. I’m confident with those,” Dario said. None of them had remarkable pro careers.Cautionary talesFor every Kiefer Ravena who fulfills his potential in the pros, there are cautionary tales of college MVPs that keep scouts wary during the Draft: RR Garcia, Dylan Ababou, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Ken Bono have all struggled to find stardom in the pros.Teytey Teodoro, another proven scorer in the NCAA for Jose Rizal U, also had trouble keeping his stock up during the Draft. He was picked first—in the third round. Just one spot ahead of Dario, who was relieved just to be taken by Blackwater.But the road to the PBA has just begun for the likes of Dario.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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But while Desiderio was picked fourth overall in the PBA Draft, Dario had to wait until the third round before getting selected. —Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netOnce upon a time, Diego Dario played in the center of the basketball universe. His University of the Philippines won hearts in a gallant effort to topple Ateneo in the UAAP Finals, and Dario was in the middle of it, hitting booming triples that sent thousands of people roaring.Less than two weeks later, he was just another face in a group of hopeful amateurs waiting—some eagerly, some pensively—for their names to be called in the PBA Draft.ADVERTISEMENT As name after name got called and Dario still remained seated, the roars of the UAAP Finals grew more and more distant.“It’s the life I chose,” he told the Inquirer. “The chatter during the Draft Combine was that there was a lot of guards—that there were too much of us.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsWell, there’s that. But the PBA Draft is a fickle monster and teams usually don’t take small sample sizes—such as two games—in order to decide on an investment.In fact, Philippine basketball is littered with players who made quite a name for themselves in college but struggled to keep their names high on the list of PBA teams during Draft day. Jojo Duncil, the spearhead of University of Santo Tomas’ miraculous title run in 2006, was selected late in the second round (15th overall). Ronjay Enrile, a one-time folk hero at Letran, was selected 17th overall. Sarah Geronimo’s ‘Tala’ enters Billboard’s world digital song sales chart Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Bench keeps Alab PH fresh for next game Tim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’ MOST READlast_img read more