PBA Draft: Jorey Napoles stands tall as first draft pick from TIP
Philip Matel on Dec 16, 2018 07:17 PM
For the first time in the school's history, the TIP Engineers will be having an alumnus play in the big leagues.
For the first time in the school's history, the TIP Engineers will be having a drafted alumnus play in the big leagues.
Jorey Napoles, a 6'4 forward who hails from Daraga, Albay, made history as he was chosen by the Phoenix Fuel Masters as the last pick of the first round, 12th overall in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
Napoles had wowed scouts in the two-day PBA Draft Combine in Mandaluyong because of his motor skills along with his physical attributes, all the more fueled by his desire to stand out among players from the UAAP and the NCAA, the top two collegiate leagues in the country.
When his name was called by head coach Louie Alas, Napoles could not explain his feeling, for he had finally been picked, all the more at a very high position, besting other names pegged to be picked in the first round.
"Hindi ko akalain [aabot ako]. Kasi di kilala saang galing school. Walang exposure. Walang sponsor. Ngayon kung ano mang mangyari, ma-draft lang masaya na ako. Yun lang. Binibigay ko lang best ko," the big man who also had stops in the PBA D-League and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League said.
He also thanks mentor Potit de Vera for believing in him, instilling him the mentality that has led him to fufill his modest dreams -- being drafted -- but now has the chance to do bigger things, not for himself but for people who are not in the top-flight collegiate leagues as well.
"Pangarap nila, ituloy lang nila. Manalig sila sa taas. Kumbaga, go lang ng go para sa pangarap. Wag sila susuko, wag sila mado-down. Kaya kung dumating man ang struggle sa buhay nila, go pa rin ng go sila."
Napoles had also bared that he was very close to giving up his hoop dreams because he was not from a big school, but his faith in the Lord, and also of course, to himself had prevailed.
"Hindi ko talaga ineexpect eh. Ibibigay ko lang best ko. Kung ano hiningi ko kay Lord, ibibigay sa right time. Ayun, binigay ni God na eto na nga, super blessed," said the former Engineer.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.