From farming to the pros-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
ONE was booted out of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), the other haunted by a past riddled by personal problems.
Basketball has been their life, and despite hitting road bumps in their careers, Cebuanos Eliud Poligrates and Jayford Rodriguez labored on and have reached career highs when they were picked in the PBA Rookie Draft in Manila last Sunday.
The other Cebuanos who were picked were Greg Slaughter and Christopher “Toping” Sumalinog.
Slaughter, a former University of the Visayas Green Lancer slotman, was the top pick among the 79 hopefuls.
Personal problems pushed Rodriguez out of circulation, while a lifetime ban from Cesafi had Poligrates thinking that he will just plant gabi in his hometown in Camotes.
Poligrates, a former Southwestern University Cobra, was picked 27th overall by Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters last Sunday. It was a huge leap from thinking he will end up planting gabi after getting a lifetime ban by the Cesafi in 2009 for gross dishonesty.
He was found to have lied about joining another tournament, which is prohibited by the Cesafi while the league is ongoing.
The comical pointguard then joked that he would turn to farming.
However, fate has been nice to him. Since 2009, he had strutted his stuff in the PBA D-League where he played and made waves with Cagayan Rising Stars and Cafe de France.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, a former Lancer and at one time the most prolific swingman in the amateur league, had virtually gone off the radar for some time but got another lease on life when he was picked by Rain Or Shine E-Lasto Painters as the 9th pick in the second round.
It is however, not an assurance that he will be signed by the team, but for someone who has not been seen in any leagues for a while, it is a huge step for Rodriguez. The negotiations are set for next week.
Rodriguez’s basketball career hit its peak in 2009 to 2011 when he was still a member of the M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Ninos squad that won many titles in the Liga Pilipinas.
“Nalipay ko nga na pick ko. Pasalamat pod ko ni boss Danny Espiritu (sports agent) nga gitabangan ko aron makapa draft ko,” Rodriguez told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
Rodriguez graduated college in 2006 and played a few conferences in the Philippine Basketball League before he signed up with M. Lhuillier, where he became an impact player for the Cebu-based commercial squad.
Because of injuries and personal problems, Rodriguez slowly went out of circulation and was barely heard of since he was dropped from the roster of M. Lhuillier.
His game earned him many accolades and praises in the Liga Pilipinas, but he did not join the draft when his former UV teammate, Joseph Ronald Quiñahan, was picked to play with Alaska.
“Siguro di pa to time nako nga magpa draft. Pero karon nalipay lang ko nga na draft na ko. Basin next week mag negotiate na mi with Rain or Shine. I remain hopeful,” ,” said Rodriguez.
If he would be signed by the E-Painters, Rodriguez will be reunited with Quiñahan, who is one of the integral part of coach Yeng Guiao’s rotation.
The third Cebuano who was drafted yesterday was Sumalinog, who played for Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles.
Sumalinog, a member of the 5 time UAAP champion Blue Eagles, was picked seventh in the fourth round by the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 06, 2013.