5-foot-6 Mike Gamboa finally makes it to the biggest stage

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 27, 2017 09:19 PM
5-foot-6 Mike Gamboa finally makes it to the biggest stage
Mike Gamboa never stopped believing in himself and has now played in his first PBA game

More than a decade ago, Mike Gamboa was one of the top talents in all of high school.

The speedy point guard with a sure shot and slick handles was the engine that propelled Ateneo de Manila High School to a championship in 2006.

Seeing a greater opportunity outside of Loyola Heights, Gamboa committed to the University of the Philippines for the seniors division.

There, he lived Diliman’s dark days.

And in turn, there, he stood in the dark and became all but forgotten.

Fast forward to December 27, 2017 and the now 28-year-old was back under the spotlight – the bright lights of the PBA, no less.

Scoring six points in three minutes of action in the second quarter, he helped Phoenix to a 125-102 triumph over Kia at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Finally getting to play in the PBA, Gamboa was all smiles post-game. “Ang tagal ko na ring pinangarap ‘to,” he said.

It has been each and every Filipino baller’s dream to play in the oldest professional league in Asia, but not that many do make it.

However, the new Fuel Master’s heartbreak seemed to be more painful than most as again, he has always had the skills – just not the size.

Standing at just a little over 5-foot-6, his day as a star for the Blue Eaglets looked like the peak of his career.

From there, he had a losing season after losing season in UP, was selected in the second round of the 2014 PBA Draft only to be left off the team, and found himself playing in the Asean Basketball League and the PBA D-League.

Until now, until Phoenix finally gave him a shot in the PBA. “Sobra-sobra ang pasasalamat ko sa Phoenix because all I needed is a chance,” he said.

He then continued, “Promise ko to just doing my best. Whatever happens, at least I can say I tried.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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