Photo Curated by Courtside Philippines


The newfound inspiration and the winning mentality of a Rey Suerte

by Niel Victor Masoy, September 16, 2019 1:28pm

At some point in a man’s life, he will find out that he will be doing things not just for his family or for himself. At some point, he will realize that he’ll be doing things, more so, for the family he himself created.

Former University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancer and now University of the East (UE) one-and-done swingman Rey Anthony ‘Dodo’ Suerte reaches that point now.

It was sort of all for his dream before. It was all for his glory. But now, the new ‘King Warrior’ has found two important people to lay all his hard work for - his wife Clavile Luminarias, and his two-month-old baby boy - Rey Anthony Suerte Jr.

“Oo, syempre (mas motivated ako dahil sa family ko),” said the 6-foot-3 Suerte in an interview with Courtside Philippines.

“Para naman sa kanila ‘tong mga ginagawa ko. Every game nga tumitingin ako sa phone ko, tinitignan ko (picture ng) anak ko. Parang motivation, motivation talaga.”

Indeed, his own family is Suerte’s new source of inspiration every time he takes the court. But still ingrained in the Monkayo, Davao de Oro (also known as Compostella Valley) native’s core is his winning mentality. Suerte was a two-time MVP (Most Valuable Player) and a three-time champion in the Cebu, Schools, Athletic Foundation Inc. (CeSAFI), after all.

And that winning mentality is what he wants to impart to the Red Warriors this University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament.

“Gusto kong patunayan na, lalong-lalo na sa UE na madala or maano yung mga teammates ko. Ako kasi winner ako eh, lagi kaming nananalo. (Gusto kong dalhin yung winning culture sa UE.) Lalo na sa mga kasama kong baguhan pa.”

Photo by Courtside Philippines
Photo by Courtside Philippines 


That Suerte’s winning mentality was on full display in the Red Warriors’ game against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers on Saturday, September 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Suerte unloaded 31 ponts, including clutch triples, to carry UE to a pulsating 89-88 victory over La Salle.

That Red Warriors’ triumph over the Green Archers was their first in the last five seasons and it was also their first win in the post Alvin Pasaol-era which gave them a 1-3 slate.

Such kind of game from Suerte inevitably puts him into discussions as to whether or not he can continue his rise and - one day - follow the footsteps of his fellow Bisaya/ Cebuanos, who have made it big in basketball here in Manila? Talking about Dondon Hontiveros, June Mar Fajardo, Roger Pogoy, and the likes.

Suerte isn’t someone to answer the question. For the former Green Lancer, he will just continue to put in the work and let his game do all the talking.

“Ang hirap sabihin. Hindi ko kasi ugali yung ganito-ganyan, magiging ganyan ako. Trinatrabaho ko talaga eh. Ayoko sa sarili ko manggaling. Gusto ko marining sa ibang tao.”

Fortunately for Suerte, other than his family, he has the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) great Hontiveros, who gives him advice as he continues to strut his wares to make it to the PBA. Suerte’s former UV coach in Gary Cortez also has some pointers for him.

“Ayun advice advice. Galingan ko lang daw,” Suerte said of Hontiveros.

"Sobrang laki (na inspirasyon niya sa akin). ‘Di ko inexpect na magkaka-ano kami. Binibigyan niya ako ng advice. Noon, bata pa ako, idol-idol lang. Tas ngayon, parang coach ko na rin.

“Kahit yung former coach ko sa Cebu, Gary Cortez. Naga-advice din.”

Suerte knows that the usually lowly UE faces a tall task in turning things around this UAAP season 82. For him, the approach is just taking it step by step.

Yun nga yung sabi ko, step by step lang. Malalakas yung other teams. Kailangan talagang pagtrabahuan.”

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