Photo from Jhang Dalanon

THE PRO131 

John Wilson has no intent to let MPBL opportunity slip through his fingers

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, March 08, 2019 4:00pm

John Wilson of the San Juan Knights is definitely one of the best players in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League today. With averages of 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals through 24 games, he proved to be a vital cog as his team finished with a 20-5 win-loss record to place third in the North Division.

Wilson appears to be in tip-top shape, and his pro-league experience has definitely helped. The former Ginebra Gin King and NCAA MVP, however, continues to put in the hard work to up his game.

“Kasi ang practice namin 12 [pm] to 3 [pm]. So sa umaga, mejo nakakapag-relax ako sa umaga. Every other day nagwo-workout ako sa umaga, ganun naman yung routine ko,” he said in a phone interview with Courtside Philippines.

His hardwork is a direct result of how he views the league compared to the Philippine Basketball Association where he played eight years.

“Actually para sa akin, it’s the same lang naman yung ano, yung pinaka liga. Ang pinagkaiba lang naman is mas maraming bata dito, mas maraming mabibilis kesa dun sa PBA. Sa PBA more experience o kaya mga talagang beterano na, so talagang mapapalaban ka don. Dito naman puro bata kaya talagang kailangan mong magpa-kondisyon dito. Kailangan ibalik mo yung kondisyon na mga 25 years old, 26, mga ganon.”

Lucky for him, hardwork has been ingrained in Wilson’s persona even before he became a basketball star. He used to be a tricycle driver, driving and paying “boundary” for his best friends tricycle unit.

“Bago naman ako pumasok nang college, nagtatricycle ako. Actually college nako, mga 2006, 2007, nagta-tricycle ako kasi kumukuha ako ng pambaon non papuntang school ng JRU,” he said.

Just about that time, lady luck smiled on Wilson.

“One of those days, may nag-sponsor sakin magkabahay, magkaron ng allowance. ‘yon nag-lie low na ako dun sa ano, dun sa pag tricycle. Kaya kung umuuwi na lang ako weekly o kaya walang practice, dun na lang ako bumabyhe sa tricycle.”

Just like most kids going through a certain stage in life, Wilson was quite unsure about his future.

“Actually yung college naman kasi, yung first two years ko sa college parang relax-relax lang. Pero sabi ko, after nito san ako pupulutin? So ‘yun. Parang nagpursigi ako sa sarili ko na may gusto akong puntahan then yun nga, naglaro ako sa PBA, going right years din.”

Wilson has definitely had a blast reaching the peak of his career, but he has no plans of letting go of the opportunity given to him by the San Juan Knights’ management.

“So yun nga, may times kasi naramdaman ko na yung career ko nasa taas din ako e, lalo na nung sa Ginebra nung rookie year ko then going to the Meralco yon hanggang mapunta ako ng Phoenix, yon mejo pababa na yung laro ko kasi hindi na nabibigyan ng opportunity.

“Pero ngayon eto sa MPBL, parang yun nga, binigyan ako ng opportunity na makapaglaro pa ng mahaba so talagang, kumbaga sa sarili ko, hindi ko na pakakawalan ‘tong opportunity na binigay sakin. As of now, nagreresulta naman yung mga pinaggagawa ko sa practice, yung ginagawa ko sa extra work out.”

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