With the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) cancelling its 2020 season and the uncertain future of local basketball, many Cebuano players have been picked up by schools that are playing in either the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Current TnT KaTropa big man Poy Erram knows a thing or two about feeling like a fish out of water and as such, has some sage advice for all those players: be strong mentally and emotionally.
After all, it wasn’t too long ago when Erram was recruited from Cagayan de Oro to join the powerhouse Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles to play in the UAAP. In an appearance on Idol Talk by the MVP Sports Foundation Youth Basketball League (MYBL), Erram relayed how difficult it was to make adjustments in Manila. It became so difficult that he wanted to go back home just one month after arriving in Katipunan.
“Napakahirap ‘pag galing probinsya. Parang ignorante sa lahat. Baka pagtawanan, sabihin ‘Bisaya ka! Punta ka dito, maglinis ka,’” said Erram.
Erram however, persevered and soon became the 15th pick overall by the Tropang Texters in the 2013 PBA Draft. However, he was soon traded to Blackwater and then, NLEX, where he blossomed into one of the best big men in the country. During the 2019 season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Erram burnished that reputation as he averaged 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.
Erram said he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of that if he didn’t strengthen himself during the tough times.
“Masakit pero kailangan mong lunukin kasi dun mag-mamatter kung gaano kalakas ang iyong dibdib at kagusto mag-succeed. Kasi kung mahina ka, lalamunin ka talaga at hihilain pababa,” said Erram. (JNP)