Meet Cebu's telecom inspector-turned-NLEX Road Warrior

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 30, 2020 02:55 PM
Meet Cebu's telecom inspector-turned-NLEX Road Warrior
Will McAloney did nothing but answer the phone when a golden opportunity came calling

Will McAloney is nothing but excited to be taken under the wing of fellow Cebuano big man JR Quinahan.

"Si JR, gina-guide niya ako every practice," NLEX's second round selection in the 2019 PBA Draft said in the CPT Crossover Podcast. "Ako saka yung ibang Bisaya pa sa team, gina-guide niya kami."

The 6-foot-5 bruiser was the 15th overall pick in the rookie selection process, not bad for somebody who wasn't even thinking about the PBA just five years ago.

Asked about what were his plans then after graduating from University of San Carlos, "Nung may anak na ako, gusto kong mag-focus sa family ko kaya nagtrabaho naman ako. Masaya naman ako dun."

After his time as a Warrior, McAloney apparently worked as a quality assurance inspector for PLDT in Cebu.

And even when his hometown was finally getting a basketball team again to play in the MPBL, he was far from interested. "May isa akong teammate na nag-try out. Sabi ko sa kanya, ayaw ko nang mag-try out kasi may family na ako, may anak na ako. Sabi ko, gusto ko nang mag-focus sa kanila," he said.

Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol, though, was very much interested in the versatile big. "Sabi nung teammate ko, hinahanap daw ako ni coach," he said.

From there, McAloney tried his luck with Cebu, even settling for a smaller salary. "Nung nag-start ako, ako yung pinakamababang sahod e, pero sabi ko sa wife ko, try lang natin. Hindi naman natin alam kung anong pwedeng mangyari," he said.

What happened was Cebu decided to move forward from starting big men Jondan Salvador and Eric Rodriguez - meaning, all of a sudden, the former PLDT inspector was their main man in the middle. "Nagsumikap lang ako tapos nabigyan ako ng chance, nabigyan ako ng kumpyansa. Naisip ko lang, siguro, ito na yung chance na binigay ni God para mapakita kung anong kaya kong maitulong sa team," he said.

McAloney did nothing but take advantage of the golden opportunity, posting a double-double average of 17.3 points and 10.5 rebounds en route to the MPBL All-Star Game in last year's Lakan Cup.

Cebu fell short of the playoffs, but in the end, had a pleasant surprise of a superstar in its hands.

That impressive rise put McAloney on the radar of several squads in the PBA looking for a solid big man.

That then led him getting drafted by NLEX and getting taken under the wing of Quinahan who himself took a longer and more winding road from Cebu to the PBA.

Now a Road Warrior, there is no doubt that destiny came calling for ex-PLDT inspector Will McAloney.

And of course, he only answered the phone.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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