Fil-Am basketball players tryout for UAAP, PBA
By Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Sept. 4, 2014
HAYWARD, Calif. – Dozens of some of the most talented Filipino-American basketball players recently gathered in Hayward, Calif. with the hopes of taking their talents to the Philippines.
“We’d like to open doors toward the Philippines that not all these kids know about despite their Filipino heritage,” said Matthew Monotoc, an EMBM sports agent.
Manotoc’s ultimate goal is to find ballers for the University of the East and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), two organizations that these young Fil-Am players are aiming to join.
“I’ve been playing in America all my life, and to see a different type of basketball in a different country and to see some of my roots, it would be a good experience for me,” said Trevor Dunbar, an aspiring PBA player.
Finding basketball talent is no slam dunk, but Manotoc says that in the three years of organizing events like this, he’s been able to assist a handful of Fil-Ams with playing collegiate basketball in the Philippines.
“You’re just looking for usually size, ‘cause that’s a little rare in the Filipino community,” said Manotoc. “In addition to size, you’re also looking for skill, athleticism and a certain basketball sense.
He believes that one day he’ll find the next PBA star.
“We haven’t seen one yet, but I’m sure eventually it will happen,” said Manotoc.
As for these players, Manotoc plans to invite a couple to another tryout in the Philippines, where they’ll perform in front of coaches from the University of the East and talk about potential scholarships.