IF CEBUANO big man Will McAloney is looking for a player to emulate and learn from as he approaches playing in his rookie season in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), he does not have to look any further than his own teammate and fellow Cebuano, JR Quiñahan.
A second-round pick of the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA Draft, the former University of San Carlos Warrior and Cebu City-Casio Ethyl Alcohol standout sees Quiñahan skills and longevity as something worth following.
"Gusto kong pag-aralan yung mga galawan ni kuya JR Quinahan kasi pag nasa practice kami, simple lang basketball sa kanya. Parang ang dali lang ng basketball sa kanya. Yun ang dini-develop ko ngayon at pina-practice ko lagi (I want to study and learn JR Quiñahan’s moves because in practice, basketball looks so easy for him. I want to develop that and that’s what I’m practicing on all the time)," the left-handed 6-foot-5 banger was quoted as saying on the league’s website.
McAloney said Quiñahan was quick to take him under his wing during the time when teams were still able to practice as one team, showing him the tricks of the trade especially on the professional level.
"Every practice namin tinuturuan niya ako. Ina-advise niya lagi ako (He teaches me every practice and gives me pieces of advice)," said McAloney of Quiñahan, who was drafted seventh overall during the 2007 PBA Draft out of the University of the Visayas.
Aside from having a familiar face to help guide him, McAloney also has the benefit of playing for a coach that helped give Quiñahan his break in the league — Yeng Guiao.
"Hustle ako na player kasi. Tsaka para sa akin, yung basketball trabaho ko na, dito ko napapakain yung pamilya ko. Kaya siguro yun ang nagustuhan ni coach Yeng sa akin (I play with a lot of hustle. And for me, basketball is already my job and this is my how I’m going to feed my family. Perhaps this is what coach Yeng liked in me)," he added. (JNP)