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Ex-Archer Torralba looking to restart career with MPBL stint

by Jaelle Nevin Reyes, June 28, 2019 11:25am

Former De La Salle University (DLSU) standout Joshua Torralba is looking for a fresh start in his basketball career in the country as he begins his voyage with the Makati Super Crunch in this season’s Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

Torralba was last seen wearing the Green-and-White in the 2015 edition of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball tournament, where he only played 12 games with an average of 7.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.

The Filipino-American swingman was best known for his defensive capability and his ability to spread the floor as well as his game winning shot against rivals Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) via a three-pointer in the elimination round of UAAP Season 78.

However, his tenure with the Green Archers was cut short in 2016 when Torralba announced his departure, citing that he wants to finish his studies in Texas instead. And so, he did.

Torralba finished his studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and he did so while working as a paraprofessional and as a trainer for the academy of Houston Rockets NBA G-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“Once I came back to Texas from La Salle, I finished school. I was working while I was in school. I was working two jobs. I was a paraprofessional sa states. I was teaching algebra and biology to high school students in my old high school,” Torralba said in an interview with Courtside Philippines.

“ I was on board a G-League team, the Vipers, as a trainer in their basketball academy. I trained elite kids from the college athletes and down. I was a skills trainer there and a coach as well on the side. I was around basketball a lot,” he added.

However, despite starting a career in the states, Torralba still felt like he needs to continue what he started in the Philippines and eventually achieve his dream of playing among the country’s brightest basketball stars.

“Even though I left La Salle, I knew I wasn’t done yet in the Philippines. The main thing why I left, is because I wanted to finish school. Some stuff happened over there but I knew in my head that I will come back,” Torralba explained.

“As an athlete and as a basketball player, I felt like I’m not finished yet. I’m healthy and I probably in the best shape I’ve ever been. I believe God has an assignment for me. Whether how long I’ll be here. Kahit ano, I will push it here.”    

After being away for some time in the local caging scene in the country, timing came right when Makati invited Torralba to be part of their squad in the ongoing Lakan Cup. He revealed that while noting that he took the chance as part of his bid of some day playing with the big guns in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

“The dream has always been to play in the PBA. But I have to play D-League muna, I believe. So, this is a stepping stone to get my foot back in the radar of basketball here and try to build on what I left in La Salle,” Torralba elaborated.

“There were several teams who had interest in me. But siyempre, I haven’t played in the Philippines for a while. I was supposed to try out for the PBA D-League but there is still some stuff I have to take care off with my papers.”

Consequently, he mentioned that playing in the fastest growing amateur basketball league in the country is a good way to restart the career he left in the Philippines and a good way to gauge his competitiveness with the other local players

“MPBL muna. It’s a great opportunity for me to put my foot back in the Philippines and try to put my name back in the radar and see how I am competitively,” he stated.

Moving forward, Torralba bared that he did not stop playing competitive basketball while he was in the US as he had the chance to play for a selection of Filipino-American players, who just like him, wants to turn professional in the future.

“It’s really good (my preparedness). I never stopped playing in the states. Whenever I had a chance, I would play with the coaching staff of our G-League team who are a bunch of ex-pros. I also played for a team called ASA in Canada which is a team of Filipino-North American players who want to be pros.”

The team he played for in the United States is the team where players like Jason Brickman and Mo Tautuaa showcased their talents before starting their respective professional careers, according to Torralba.

“That was kind of like the decider why I came back. Because I wanted to see if I can still play with the Filipinos there talent wise. We really played against good competition. I didn’t expect it but I got MVP. I thank God for that. So, I was like, I can still do this,” he held.

Lastly, Torralba noted that he is keen on working hard to prove that he belongs among the basketball stars in the country while adding that he will strive hard to help his team bring home the championship this season.

“I want to be the bridge in the gap in whatever area the coach or the team needs me. I don’t like to lose. My goal for this year is to get my team the championship in the MPBL. I know our team is pretty good.”

“My yolk is easy but my burden is light. To summarize that, I basically cast all my worries especially in the game, kahit ano, I leave it all up to God. If you leave it to God, everything will be alright,” he concluded.

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