This year's most underrated prospect? Gotta be Jonas Tibayan

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 14, 2017 01:51 PM
This year's most underrated prospect? Gotta be Jonas Tibayan
UNDER THE RADAR. Jonas Tibayan is seen by many as an immediate impact player - for whatever college he decides to play for. (Photo courtesy of FIBA)

Many, many words have been said about UAAP stars John Lloyd Clemente and Juan Gomez de Liano as well as John Lloyd Clemente as well as NCAA standouts Guilmer Dela Torre and Troy Mallillin.

However, arguably the most college-ready prospect from the Juniors does not come from the UAAP or the NCAA.

That recognition may very well belong to Jonas Tibayan of Chiang Kai Shek College.

Yes, that Jonas Tibayan who captained Batang Gilas and then played alongside the likes of Mac Belo, Ray Parks Jr., and Kiefer Ravena in the Gilas cadets a year ago.

The 18-year-old’s points per game of 11.4 for the Blue Dragons do not jump out at anybody, but looking at all of his numbers, it cannot be denied that he contributes anywhere and everywhere. He also averaged 12.4 rebounds along with one mark apiece in the assist, steal, and block departments as they finished as runners-up in the PSSBC (Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship).

Even more, Tibayan does it all with a non-stop motor and tireless effort. “Actually, ‘di naman talaga ako ganun kagaling mag-score so tinuro lang sa akin ng mga coaches na magsipag lang. Kasi kung magsipag ka, dun naman talaga malalabas yung laro mo e,” he said.

And that’s exactly just how the six-foot-three forward likes it. “Kaya naman ako nasasama sa mga ganito dahil sa effort na binibigay ko sa game. Ginagawa ko lang talaga yung role ko na all-out lagi,” he expressed as he was selected to participate in the NBTC All-Star Game for the third time in a row.

Now among the best of the best young talent for the third time in a row, Tibayan is feeling blessed. “Masaya kasi ‘di ko rin naman in-expect na aabutin ako ng tatlong taon dito. Swerte lang din ako na yung pinapakita ko mula ensayo hanggang game, napupunta sa mga ganitong All-Star,” he said.

For his last hurrah before he moves up into the Seniors, the do-it-all player plans to use all he has learned – from CKSC all the way to national teams – to leave a mark on the All-Star Game. “Yung lahat ng experience ko, dito ko ipapakita at gagamitin,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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