MANILA, Philippines – Either Ranidel de Ocampo or Chris Newsome.
These are the players whose careers draft prospect Javee Mocon sees as pegs if he gets a shot to play in the PBA.
"Siguro if may gagayahin ako na player is Ranidel de Ocampo or like Newsome," said the former San Beda standout, who’s now hoping to make the big leap to the pros as a member of the 2018 rookie class.
"Kasi si Newsome, 'yung nasa Ateneo siya, he played the 4. Now, he's playing point guard. Gusto kong ma-mirror kung ano 'yung ginawa niya.
(If I would be emulating a particular player, that would be Ranidel de Ocampo or Chris Newsome. When Newsome was still with Ateneo, he played the 4. Now, he's playing point guard. I want to mirror what he did in the PBA.)
Throughout his stellar collegiate career that saw him embrace the role of the Red Lions' stabilizer, Mocon has proven he has the tools to replicate the two Meralco players' style of play.
Like De Ocampo, Mocon has the sweet touch from outside and the physique to bang bodies in the post.
He also possesses the quickness and the passing ability to become a point-forward like Newsome.
But Mocon knows he can't develop into those kind of players overnight and looks foward to the struggle of being a neophyte in the country's premier professional league.
"There's beauty in struggle," Mocon said during SLAM Philippines' Draft Suite in Pasig City on Friday, December 16.
"Nilu-look forward ko 'yun kasi I know myself na once na mapunta ako sa wall, kaya ko siya i-break down. Doon ako gagaling e, 'yung mga challenges, doon ako lalo mas magi-improve."
(I look forward to that because I know that once I hit a wall, I can break it down. I can only improve from challenges.)
While acknowledging the hardships of being a PBA rookie, Mocon said his stay in San Beda that saw him win 4 NCAA titles has prepared him for the big stage.
"If you're in a champion team, you always play in the finals. Lalo na ako, I played 5 years in the finals. Sobrang laki ng pressure and ako, nadadala ko 'yun. 'Yun 'yung edge ko."
(If you're in a champion team, you always play in the finals. I played 5 years in the finals. Being in the finals means dealing with pressure but I overcame all of that. That's my edge.)
The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft will be held on Sunday, December 16, at the Robinsons Manila in Ermita. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.