Unheralded PBA hopeful Christian Geronimo turns dream to reality, gets picked by Kia
MANILA, Philippines – If Christian Geronimo went on with his plan of missing the 2017 PBA Draft Sunday, October 29, he would not have witnessed his name being called as the 49th overall pick.
Geronimo, probably the least known among all rookie aspirants, having not played in any major basketball league in the country, admitted he was so overwhelmed with the coverage of the draft ever since he participated in the Draft Combine that he thought of staying home.
Fortunately, Geronimo’s presence at the Robinsons Place Manila, the usual venue of the league’s annual passage of rites, paid off as he was nabbed by the Kia Picanto as the first pick in the 5th round.
"Dapat nga after noong day 2 ng Combine, sobrang na-overwhelm po ako na parang ayokong pumunta sa draft, parang naisip ko ang daming tao, ang daming camera," said Geronimo.
(After the second day of the Draft Combine, I felt really overwhelmed to the point of having thoughts of not going to the draft. I was expecting many people who will be watching and cameras which will focus on us.)
Geronimo had a reason for not getting used to the attention. After all, unlike his fellow PBA hopefuls who have played in the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI, PCBL, NAASCU and the D-League, the PBA Draft is by far the closest thing he had to getting media coverage.
The 29 year-old attended 4 schools since 2004 in hopes of playing collegiate basketball but to no avail.
He was part of the Team B in Letran before moving to Adamson University and the University of Perpetual. He then transferred to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines but was not included in the lineup that participated in the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association even though he was part of their Team A.
Despite his lack of experience, Geronimo tried his luck in this year’s draft.
At the end of the 4th round, it was only him and Jhon Sumido whose names were not called. Geronimo was expecting the worst, and he told his girlfriend who went with him not to cry if ever he is not selected by any of the 12 PBA teams.
"Sabi ko kung ano man ang mangyari tatanggapin ko. Kung hindi ako ma-draft, okay lang,” said Geronimo. “Blessing na rin na nakarating ako dito, ‘yun ‘yung iniisip ko."
(I told myself that I will accept whatever happens. If I don’t get drafted, it’s still okay. It has been a blessing reaching this point.)
And then PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa announced, “The Kia Picanto selects Christian Geronimo.”
Geronimo’s girlfriend eventually cried, but it was tears of joy this time.
“Hindi pa rin nag-sisink in sa akin. Parang di ko alam kung nangyari ba talaga.”
(The thought still has not sunk in. I don’t know if this really happened.)
As a 5th rounder, the Pasay City-native will have to fight tooth and nail to earn a contract. But with the door already opened for him, he is not backing out from the chance of setting foot in the PBA hardcourt.
“Ibibigay ko talaga lahat ng makakaya ko para sa team na ito kasi pinagkatiwalaan nila ako. Sisipagan ko.”
(I will give my all for this team because they trusted me. I will really work hard.) – Rappler.com