I wanted to write something about PBA Draft applicants who are skating the edges. Everyone will be writing about the big names. I want everyone to see what is on the other side.
This appears in the Monday October 28, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.
Hoping for a chance:
Paul Jordan Payoyo
by rick olivares
There are 85 hopefuls in the upcoming PBA Draft so you’ll have to forgive Paul Jordan Payoyo for being nervous.
He glanced at the list of PBA hopefuls and saw a lot of “household” names from the NCAA and the UAAP. They have the advantage of going to bigger schools with big names and who are shown on television on a regular basis.
In the meantime, Paul plays, or toils if you will, for the Trinity University of Asia White Stallions who play in three different leagues – the College Athletic League, the Universities and Colleges Athletic Association, and National Collegiate Basketball League. “Mas maraming exposure kasi hindi kami kilala,” he reasons.
More often than not, the White Stallions merit just a little space in Manila’s sports pages. But Paul hopes that by some stroke of luck, he’d be tabbed in any of the draft rounds by any team. “Kahit saan basta may chance,” is what he prays for. “Pagbubutihin ko.”
If he gets selected by fellow Pampangueño Ato Agustin who now at the helm of his favorite PBA ballclub, Barangay Ginebra (Mark Caguioa is his favorite local ball player), he’d be ecstatic.
Payoyo hails from the city of San Fernando. It was while playing in the inter-barangay leagues where the 5’10” guard was eventually spotted by TUA coach Junel Mendiola and offered a scholarship to the Quezon City-based school.
At TUA, he’s taking up Business Administration but more than anything in this world, he wants to be given a chance to play in the PBA. “Nasa dugo ko ang basketball,” he says.
Indeed it is. His father, Teddy, after all named him after arguably the Greatest of All Time – Michael Jordan.
Paul is quick to dispel that his game is Jordanesque. “Hindi ako nakaka-dunk,” he admits. But the lad can shoot. With TUA, he averages about 15 points per game. During one match, he lit up the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals for over 20 points and a bunch of triples.
In his final year in college, Payoyo along with teammates Joshua Saret (who used to play with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons) and Mark Doligon (who used to suit up for the Arellano University Chiefs) led the White Stallions to the NCBL Finals. Except TUA lost to Technological Institute of the Philippines, 70-62, in the championship game only last October 12.
The TIP Engineers posted a big lead early in the match but the White Stallions launch one rally after another to no avail.
With his college basketball career done, Payoyo (who is graduating in March 2014) is hoping that Lady Luck might smile on him differently on November 3, the night of the 2013 PBA Draft.
“Ito yung pangarap ng marami. Pangarap ko rin to. Sana,” he says in a hopeful tone. “Sana may chance.”