Once a castaway, John Barba struck gold in LPU
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 14, 2020 04:44 PM
(Photo by Josh Albelda)
John Barba, alongside Mac Guadana, represents the future and the present of Lyceum of the Philippines University.
Now without all of CJ Perez, MJ Ayaay, Mike Nzeusseu, and Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee, the Pirates will rely on their homegrown prized prospects to keep them afloat from now until the foreseeable future.
The good news is that in Barba and Guadana, the Intramuros-based squad cornered 40 percent of last year's Mythical Team in the NCAA Jrs.
Even more, they have secured the services of the league's MVP - a tireless workhorse who put up per game counts of 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists.
The 18-year-old made it a point to say, however, that he was never one to be on the lookout for individual glory. "Never ko pong inisip, never ko pong hinabol yung ganun. Bonus na lang din po talaga sa akin yung mga ganun," he said as he made history as the first LPU player to take home the top individual trophy.
In Barba's eyes, what matters most is he returns the full faith the maroon and gray have given him from the very moment he transferred from Adamson High School. "Actually, galing po akong Adamson, pero nung lumipat sina Coach Gold ng NU, nagkahiwa-hiwalay na kami. Sabi po ni Coach Gold, pumunta na lang po ako ng LPU kasi nandun yung kaibigan niya, si Coach LA," he shared.
He then continued, "Sabi po niya, mapapaganda pa po sa akin yun. Eto na nga po, napaganda nga naman po talaga."
Yes, once upon a time, the 6-foot-2 swingman suited up for Goldwin Monteverde, but when the latter moved from San Marcelino to Sampaloc, the former also had to make a move.
Fortunately for him, Coach Gold was good friends with then-LPU mentor LA Mumar who wasted no time taking in Barba.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
And the even better news for Intramuros? Their new hope is nothing but ready and raring to keep wearing their colors. "Sobrang blessing po ng nangyari sa akin kaya po gusto ko lang ipagpatuloy lahat ng ginagawa ko para sa Lyceum," he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.