Tough times in Cebu produces a tough Tam in Dennison

Tough times in Cebu produces a tough Tam in Dennison
PHYSICAL PLAYER. Ron Dennison is slowly but surely becoming a two-way player.

For two games in a row now, Ron Dennison has been the go-to-guy for Far Eastern University.

After scoring a career-high 21 points in their season-opening loss three days ago, he fired 16 markers in their first win in the tournament.

And while his offensive outbursts were a surprise to just about everybody, the graduating guard said he had long been preparing just for that. “Ako kasi, ready ako e. Yun ang mindset ko every game lalo na last year ko na ngayon,” he said.

Still, he reminded everybody that he remains a defensive – not dirty, mind you, but physical – player. “Always yan na nandyan ang defense ko. ‘Di pwede yan mawala kasi ako nagbibigay ng energy sa loob ng court para sa amin,” he said.

Indeed, in the Tamaraws’ win against University of the East, Dennison was again matched up with the opposing team’s best player in Alvin Pasaol – continuing the tall task he has always taken upon himself from guarding Ray Parks Jr. to Kiefer Ravena and from Jeron Teng to Paul Desiderio.

After all, the best players in the UAAP have got nothing on all the hardships he had to go through just to make it into the league.

“Mahirap talaga kami. Papa ko, wala na since 2001 tapos mama ko, wala ring mabigay,” the now 23-year-old shared. “Kaya lahat ng bagay, pinagsisipagan ko.”

He went on to say that back in Cebu, he didn’t have to do odd jobs like many provincial recruits before him. What he did have to do, however, was make sure that their humble home was always in order.

“’Di naman ako nagtrabaho-trabaho, pero yung mga utos sa bahay, marami – buhat ng bagay-bagay, hakot ng tubig, magputol ng damo, magbungkal ng lupa,” Dennison said. “Kaya rin solid yung katawan ko.”

That, coupled with all the games he played in larong kalye, turned him into the physical – again, not dirty – player he is today. “Ever since bata ako, physical player ako. Sanay na ako sa ganung laro lalo sa amin; kahit walang pustahan, meron lang sikuhan, suntukan,” he said.

It also didn’t hurt that FEU’s now longest-tenured player had two brothers who also instilled in him the grit and grind it took to be a defender. “Yung mga kuya ko, si Richard and Rosser, sila naging mentor ko kung bakit ako naging ganito. Defensive players din talaga kami sa UV (University of Visayas),” he said

And so, when it was his time in UV, he opened eyes to the point that had the Tamaraws impressed when he tried out for them just once. “Yung teammate ko dati sa UV, sabi niya, mag-tryout din ako para sa FEU. Sabi ko naman, sige, try ko lang,” he said.

He then continued, “Nung tryout, sobrang ganda naman ng pinakita ko, offense, defense. Ayun, nakuha ako nila coach Bert [Flores].”

When the Morayta-based squad offered, there was no second-guessing whatsoever for Dennison. “Yung mga kuya ko kasi, sabi nila after nila sa Cebu, wala nang next sa career nila so sabi nila, mag-Manila ako. Nung nabigyan ako ng opportunity sa FEU, ni-grab ko talaga nang puspusan,” he said.

Fast forward five years later and now, he is the unquestioned leader for FEU.

Up to this point, the proud defensive enforcer is doing it all to make his family proud in Cebu. “Sila yung ginagawa kong motivation kasi alam ko si mama, gusto niya na yung anak niya, makalaro sa ganitong liga. Sila talaga yung motivation ko,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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