Photo Curated by Courtside PhilippinesTHE PRO108
Change of sport brings Daryl Pascual to new heights
by Eugene Flores, September 11, 2019 4:19pm
Height is might, especially in basketball.
And with Philippines ranked as second-shortest people in the Southeast Asian region and it comes as a surprise to find people with a God-given height to hone their potential in basketball.
This is how the future of Daryl Pascual was changed.
Already standing at six-foot-three-inches at the age of 15, Daryl Louie Pascual found himself turning away from his first love, taekwondo, after some coaches invested on him to swith to the number one sport in the country, basketball.
Clueless about the game, Pascual still made the jump and it proved to be his best decision ever as nine years after, he found himself playing in the fastest-growing regional commercial league, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
The now 6'5" big man represents the Marikina Shoemasters in the north division of the league.
Despite starting at a late age, learning and loving the game came naturally for the Pampanga native as he even ended up playing almost every afternoon to train.
"Bandang huli naman nag-ienjoy na ako maglaro ng basketball. Hanggang nakahiligan ko na kahit hapon naglalaro ako. Nag-enjoy na sa basketball," Pascual said in an interview with Courtside Philippines.
His first exposure came with the University of Perpetual System Dalta (UPHSD) Altas in the juniors division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association before tranferring to different schools later in his career.
A big break was laid in front of him when he was selected to represent the Philippines in the 2011 South East Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) alongside Radj Tongco and Kyles Lao.
This paved the way for Pascual to play for the then San Beda College (now San Beda University) before spending two years with the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers then finally ending up with the Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights.
It was an unsteady ride for Pascual in his collegiate career but the different exposure helped him earn a spot in the Elvis Tolentino-led Marikina squad.
"Big opportunity na bigyan nya ako ng playing time para makapaglaro nang maayos," Pascual mentioned.
Despite the poor position of the team in the standings at 1-11 (win-loss), Pascual is cherishing every moment and everything he can learn from the veterans and ex-pros.
"Tough, magaling kasi mga beterano naman nakakalaro namin kaya magi-improve talaga laro mo physically."
Experience, indeed, is his goal this season as he hopes to play his final collegiate year back at Letran next NCAA season.
"May isang taon pa ako next year kasi sinubukan ko maglaro sa MPBL. Siguro kung gusto pa ng Letran depende pa rin sa desisyon ni coach Elvis."
Pascual revealed he wanted to give back Letran the opportunity and scholarship he received as a player by bringing a better self in the table.
"Siguro yung kailangan nila ng big man. Sa rebounding mga ginagawa ko lang sa MPBL. Para makabawi lang din, para makabawi lang din sa kanila kasi diba scholar kami ron."
Asked about his other plans, Pascual seemed not to be in the rush to reach his PBA dream as he is still open to going back to the MPBL to acquire more experience to help complete his game.
"Kahit kuha pa ako ng isang taong experience kasi iba rin talaga kapag sa pro eh. Iba yung liga sa pro. Ginagamit mental experience kasi malalakas mga kalaban don."
Nonetheless, he still has his eyes on his goal to be a pro and will give a shot rather than regretting the chance.
"Titingnan ko kung hanggang saan aabot yung career."
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