LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – It may be Ry Aljer Dela Rosa's first time playing at Palarong Pambansa but he's already reached the peak of the secondary boys basketball event, as his Calabarzon team won the 2016 title against Central Luzon.
Dela Rosa, who grew up in San Diego, California before relocating to the Philippines, credited the team's collective effort for recapturing the crown, described his first Palaro as “a good experience” for him and his team.
“There's always a first for everything. At first it was kind of new to me; well, coming from the States.”
Calabarzon was able to redeem itself from last year’s failure to secure a medal when they lost to Central Visayas in the battle for bronze. Dela Rosa said they had been training since the NCAA in 2015.
"It was tough because we were out of shape but we got what we needed to do and we came out here victorious."
The Grade 11 student-athlete from San Beda was already playing basketball for his high school team when he was still in the United States. He described some differences playing basketball there and here in the Philippines.
“Guarding people there, it's harder because they're more athletic but here it's hard for me because here it's more physical, so I have to get used to it as well,” he said.
A third Dela Rosa in the PBA?
Ry wishes to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and fellow Red Lion, Rome, who is now currently in the PBA with the Alaska Aces, and his father, Romy, who was a former player of the Shell Turbo Chargers and Sta. Lucia Realtors as well as of the Negros Slashers in the now-defunct MBA.
They are his motivation to improve his performance as early as now.
“They always help me. They always push me to become better as a person and as a player," he shared.
But before he vies for his PBA dream, he must first settle his studies.
With the implementation of the K-12 curriculum in the basic education system, the first batch of students will be entering senior high school instead of entering the tertiary level.
This new system allows students to take specific career tracks which are similar to college courses. Surprisingly for Dela Rosa, he plans to take the Academic track with the Accountancy, Business, and Management strand instead of the Sports track.
“To me it's more of being a student than an athlete. Like what my mom said, it's always studies first so I have to get whatever I need to do to prepare for my future," Dela Rosa explained.
When he does go to college, he plans to take either Marketing or Entrepreneurship as his degree.
Ry left these words of wisdom to aspiring basketball players: “Don't quit on your dreams. Never give up and always look forward to the future. Never bring yourself down because when you bring yourself down, you're not gonna go anywhere so might as well just move forward and be ready, prepare yourself always." – Rappler.com
Randall Matthew Lorayes is a Rappler intern on his third year in AB Broadcasting in Bicol University.
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