In the land of the “giants”, basketball players who stand below six feet are already at a disadvantage when ranged against players who stand 6-foot-5 and above.
Shorter players have to be extraordinarily talented and skilled to be able to break through the “land of the giants”.
These shorter players need to harness every kind of “little” advantage they have in order to survive, or thrive in the pro league now dominated by San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
In the PBA’s kick-off game for the opening of the league’s 40th season, more than 52,000 fans witnessed the “rebirth” of Kia playmaker LA Revilla’s professional career.
Well, for the record, Revilla only played three games in all last season (all in the Philippine Cup) with GlobalPort, the team that selected him 24th overall in last year’s draft.
Due to the backcourt depth of the Batang Pier, Revilla failed to show what he can really do.
The worst part was, after Ritchie Ticzon’s interim coaching tenure ended in the Philippine Cup, and Piod Jarencio took over, Revilla’s PBA career ended as well.
For any basketball player, who worked so hard to reach his PBA dream, getting cut by any team is the hardest part to swallow. You’re either not good enough to last that long in the pro league, or what you did as a college player and/or PBA D-League player for that matter, wasn’t enough to prepare you for the ‘big league’.
Good thing, Revilla was in the company of people who believed him.
There was National University coach Eric Altamirano, who just led the Bulldogs to the UAAP men’s basketball title last week, encouraging the former La Salle guard to work hard, be prepared, because opportunity comes to those who are ready.
Altamirano shared that Revilla’s been through a lot of adversities in the past, recalling the 24-year-old playmaker’s bout with diabetes that forced him to sit out two years in college after a decent freshman year with the Green Archers.
“Galing din siya sa (UAAP) Finals nung magkasakit siya. So wala talaga siyang basketball that time. And then when he came back, he had tests before and after the game to check his blood, pero ngayon completely healed na siya,” the NU coach recalled.
Somehow, Altamirano shared that the fight with diabetes toughened Revilla’s character in a way and prepared for his PBA career “test”.
Life is like a “fight”. We all face adversities in varying degrees. These adversities can be related to our health, like what Revilla experience before, business, career, academics, personal struggles, or something related to our family.
Tough isn’t it. Sometimes, the easiest way is to quit. Throw the towel. Refuse to fight anymore. Just let discouragement and defeat swallow us.
Here’s a passage I read yesterday while having my devotional time:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus could relate to our pain. He shares our hurts. He was also tempted in every way, yet, was without sin. But in all these challenges, Jesus was assuring us that He has overcome the world and all its temptations, and with His help, we can overcome the challenges we face, too.