Coach Darjuan’s PBA dream lives on through his Braves

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 18, 2016 05:47 PM
Coach Darjuan’s PBA dream lives on through his Braves
DIFFERENCE-MAKER. Coach Tylon Darjuan has for himself a winning program after only three years at the helm in Arellano.

There’s something different about Arellano High School in the NCAA 92 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

Following their breakthrough campaign a year ago, the Braves are alone atop the leaderboard and seem well-positioned to challenge seven-time champion San Beda High School.

Not only that, they look bold and bald while doing so.

Asked about their unified look, top gun Guilmer Dela Torre said, “Idea ni coach, para mapakita yung ‘We’re not just a team, we’re a family.’”

Indeed, the upstarts play like a family and enjoy winning as a family. Much of that has to do with Dela Torre who was named the first-ever Juniors Player of the Week.

Averaging 27 points and seven rebounds in his last two outings, the graduating guard has put himself in the early conversation for MVP much like he put Arellano in the early conversation of championship contenders. “Gina-grab ko lang po (yung opportunity). Pinahahalagahan ko kasi kapag pinagkakatiwalaan ka, dapat hindi mo sayangin,” he said.

No one is happier with the Braves and Dela Torre’s rise than coach Tylon Darjuan who has for himself a winning program after only three years at the helm. As he shared with ABS-CBN Sports, “Masaya kasi kumbaga, yung pangarap ko dati pero hindi ako nakapag-PBA, at least, may makita man lang ako balang araw galing sa amin.”

He then continued, “Yun nga yung lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila – na wag makuntento sa high school. Kaya nga ako kahit mahirap as a coach na magpasok ng lahat ng player, gumagamit talaga ako ng 15.”

With his scoring ability, Dela Torre does look like he could be Arellano High’s first-ever prized prospect – together with teammate sweet-shooting forward Carlo Abadeza.

Not bad at all for someone who wasn’t even supposed to be playing for the team. Sharing his beginnings from Bataan, the Braves’ top gun said, “Yung kakilala ng tatay kong taga-Arellano, kuya ko yung dapat kukunin, hindi ako. Kaya lang, si kuya Marjun, fourth year na so hindi makakapag-residency.”

He then continued, “Ako, makakapag-residency. So nagulat ako kasi ako yung kinuha e sinama lang naman ako.”

Along with being a star on the rise on the court, Dela Torre is also cherishing all the good things he has off of it. “Masaya ako kasi nakakatulong na rin ako sa magulang ko tulad sa pag-aaral tapos hindi na ako kailangang bigyan ng allowance. Masaya akong natutulungan ko sarili ko,” he said.

And now, Arellano High’s poster boy wants nothing but success for the rest of his teammates. “Ang goal namin, makapasok kami sa Final Four. Tapos ako, gusto ko na kahit sino sa amin, may makuhang award para makilala rin,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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