Consider it a dream come true for Gelo Alolino.
The former National University guard didn’t really have to wait that long before he heard his name called up in the stage in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday.
“Once na narinig ko yung name ko, I had a sigh of relief talaga,” Alolino said after Phoenix drafted him second in the regular draft.
“Lahat ng pinaghirapan ko was worth it because nandito na ako. It really is a dream come true.”
Alolino pairs with Matthew Wright as the standout rookies which will join the Fuel Masters this upcoming season.
And for Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia, those picks allowed him to address his squad’s pressing need beef up its backcourt.
“We solved our point guard problem,” he said. “We got lots of point guards now.”
Alolino joins sophomore slasher Simon Enciso and veteran Chico Lanete at the point. And this early, Alolino is excited to have the chance to be mentored by those two.
“I’m really excited to learn more. Di ako magre-relax at ibibigay ko pa kung ano kaya ko,” he said.
Alolino is also hoping that he won’t have a hard time adjusting to the PBA game given that he will open a new chapter in his basketball career along with his former NU teammates Jeff Javillonar and Pao Javelona, who were also acquired by Phoenix in the draft.
“Happy ako na at least nandito na kami. Nakasama ko sila ng maraming beses na sa UAAP pero pare-parehas kaming bago dito kaya as much as possible, hahanapin pa namin yung mabibigay namin sa team,” he said, as he hopes to exploit this advantage as all three Bulldogs eye to crack Vanguardia’s rotation through their chemistry.
“May familiarity na kami sa isa’t isa. Hindi ko in-expect yun pero hopefully, sama-sama din kami na makapag-sign ng contract.”