Devout Muslim Poutouochi vows to show real strength after religious sacrifice
Tricia Robredo on Jul 17, 2015 07:45 PM
The biggest challenge for me as a rookie is to confront and face all the greatest players. I’ve seen the big guys of the other schools and they’re really good. I have to match them and maybe dominate them -- Abdoul Poutouochi
Jose Rizal University import Abdoul Poutouochi sparked a plug and led the Bombers to a 67-47 win over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals on Friday.
However, he’s been quite inconsistent since the 91st NCAA started.
Aside from those rookie jitters, Abdoul shared that the difficulty may also be partly due to religious obligations.
Being a devout Muslim, he’s been practicing Ramadan for as long as he could remember.
“But it’s not easy (when you’re an athlete) in the Philippines. It was hard for me to run fast and jump, most especially. It’s hot, you don’t have water and you don’t have anything but you still give your 100%,” he said.
To go through the ritual despite the athletic demands was a personal choice, which is why Abdoul never expected to be excused from training like the rest of his teammates. But even if he asked, Coach probably won’t allow it anyway.
“There is no such thing as excuses with coach. He really pushes all of us, and together we work with his vision,” said the big man.
The added motivation to power through despite the circumstances is also from the JRU community that comes out to support their team each match. Abdoul shared that the crowd is always a factor for him when it comes to games, whether positive or negative.
“Sometimes they can be a distraction but sometimes they can give you the boost.”
Isolating them and focusing on the game instead is still something he admittedly has to learn.
Now that he’s starting to gain back his energy (and finally eat normally again), Abdoul Poutouochi vows to work more on his athleticism to be able to fair better in the physicality of the league.
“The biggest challenge for me as a rookie is to confront and face all the greatest players. I’ve seen the big guys of the other schools and they’re really good. I have to match them and maybe dominate them,” he added. “That’s an obligation if you want to win.”
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