PBA Draft Focus: Kris Rosales seeks to make most of ‘second chance’
With a 6-foot-2 frame, the playmaker from Hope International University was making waves even before Kobe Paras did it in the United States.
But everything didn’t really pan out the way Rosales would’ve wanted to, so the kid from Bellflower, California decided to throw his name in the PBA D-League Draft and was picked fifth in the first round by Jumbo Plastic.
And as Rosales finished his mandatory one D-League season, he’s now ready to take the next step in the 2015 Gatorade PBA Rookie Draft.
The 24-year-old sees this as a chance for redemption.
“It’s like a second chance,” he said. “The stuff in the States was tough. It was a good experience and I just learned from it and happy to go through all that.”
After going under the radar for almost two years, Rosales explained what really happened to him back in 2013.
“My senior year in college, I played really good. A lot of scouts have been looking at me and I met an agent in the States and he was looking for a player in my area and I worked out with them,” he recounted of his meeting with agent Ara Vartanian.
However, his chances took a big hit after he injured his right wrist as he tried to impress scouts in the NBA. But Rosales fought on.
“He was impressed that I could shoot left handed with a cast on and he decided to sign me under him. He got me a workout with the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, but it was tough because I had a cast on for eight weeks and I’m still getting used to having my wrist off of the cast. I went to work out with them but my body was just not in rhythm and my touch wasn’t there,” he said.
After getting undrafted in the 2013 in the NBA and a hardluck campaign to make it to the NBA D-League, Rosales knew that the next step for him is not to try in other international leagues just like his peers but to go back home.
“The next step is to just come out here,” he said.
But Rosales’ journey here hasn’t been as breezy as he thought it would be, and he was immediately introduced to the hard-knocks style of Philippine basketball.
“As a Fil-Am, you need to adjust. When I was in Jumbo Plastic, I learned a lot, the Filipino style of play, the physicality. I learned how to commute and all the little things. I played against good players and learned a lot,” he said.
After a conference and a half with the Giants, Rosales soon fond himself on the move, suiting up for Tanduay Light for four games in the 2015 Foundation Cup before the Rhum Maters fell short in the quarterfinals. Though he changed teams, the learning didn’t stop for Rosales.
“When I moved to Tanduay, I was able to use the things that I learned and apply it. Unfortunately, I only played four games, but I felt like both of those teams gave me a good experience and it was a good learning process,” he said. “After that, I’m just moving on to the next chapter of my life – the PBA Draft.”
A one of the 16 Fil-foreigners in the 63-man deep rookie pool this year, Rosales is just hoping to get the attention of the coaches and prove himself as a viable PBA playmaker in the future.
“I’m just a hardworker,” he said. “I got to where I’m at because I work hard. The reason why I got those NBA looks is because I worked hard and listened to the coaches.”
But more than anything, it’s a chance for Rosales to once again play basketball against the best competition he could have.
“I’m just happy to be here and I look at it as a second chance.”
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