UAAP: Simon Camacho would just not quit on basketball
Danine Cruz on Sep 29, 2018 05:16 PM
Adamson's Simon Camacho almost gave up college basketball, but look at him now.
As Adamson University remains undefeated after five games, they once again proved how deep their bench is. When National Univeristy inched within four points from Adamson early in the fourth quarter, 43-39, forward Simon Camacho scored eight straight points to reestablish their lead, 51-41.
His hustle on both ends of the court anchored the Falcons to another victory as they went home with their fifth win of the season, 63-58.
"Gusto ko lang bigyan ng energy yung team. Kasi yung role ko as a defensive player, nag convert siya to offense. Masaya lang ako that time. Sobrang hyped," he said after finishing with eight points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
This just goes to show that Adamson has a strong and reliable supporting cast and the 22-year-old Camacho is very much part of that.
"'Yun na rin yung dinedevelop sa amin ni Coach Franz [Pumaren] na hindi lang dapat kami umasa sa star players namin like Sean [Manganti], Papi [Sarr], Jerrick [Ahanmisi], dapat sometimes may mag step up," he said.
Interestingly, Adamson's guy this game almost gave up playing college basketball.
From just playing streetball in Maragondon, Cavite, Camacho had little confidence to try out. All he had was a dream and the height of a 6-foot-4 man. It took him two years to shoot his shot for the Falcons.
"After two years, nag try out ako sa Adamson under Coach Leo [Austria] pa yun. Makakapasok na sana ako nun but sakto nagpalit ng Coach under Coach Kenneth Duremdes so tinigil ko na rin yung pagta-tryout. Nag-aral na lang ako nun," said Camacho.
With that door closed for him, another opened in NCAA's Lyceum of the Philippines University.
"May nag open sa akin sa Lyceum. Mag tryout daw ako. Aayusin na dapat papers ko pero di na ako bumalik sa kanila sa training kasi sinabi ko na lang nanghihinayang ako sa aral ko sa Adamson. Magbaback to start pa ako. [Kaya] balik sa Adamson, aral na lang ulit," he narrated.
With how things are going for Camacho, he thought that maybe college basketball is not for him until a Facebook post by his mother changed courses for him.
"May taga sa amin, secretary ng University President, taga sa amin siya [sa Cavite.] Nakita niya yung mama ko nag post ng picture ko nagbabasketball, so that time parang sabi mag try out daw sa Adamson pero that time third year college na ako," said the then Information Technology student.
"Nag give up na talaga ako sa basketball kasi third year na ako wala pa rin nangyayari. Sabi ko parang gusto ko na lang makatapos ng pagaaral then ito nanaman 'tong basketball, nanggugulo nanaman," he said as he laughed.
And true enough, he was chosen to play for the Falcons and he debuted in Season 78 under Coach Mike Fermin. With another coaching change to Franz Pumaren going to Season 79, Camacho was scared he won't make Pumaren's tough cut.
"Then nagpalit ng coach, si Coach Franz na. Kinabahan na rin ako that time, wala akong skills that time, pero ayun, binawi ko," he said and now he is playing his fourth playing year as a Masters in Business Administration student.
With all the detours he had to take - four coaching changes, and an NCAA offer - all the way to the Adamson glory they are experiencing now, Camacho made sure he is gaining the trust of Pumaren.
"That’s why we give opportunities to players. In fact I’ve been telling them when the opportunity arises, the door is open, might as well enter than close the door. I guess that’s what they’ve been doing. In my team, it’s friendly competition: you earn the minutes, you get your spot. You play well, you practice well, you get your minutes," said Pumaren.
And with how Camacho and the rest of the Falcons have been playing this season, his detours might just be all the more worth the wait.