While his name was being announced as the third overall pick in the 2022 PBA Rookie Draft by Converge, Jeo Ambohot was not at the Robinsons Place Manila.
Instead, the 6-foot-7 forward was some 7.7-kilometers away, playing for his collegiate team Colegio de San Juan de Letran at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
And it was only after the buzzer had sounded during their NCAA Season 97 Seniors Basketball Finals encounter that he knew that he was selected that high.
“Hindi rin ako makapaniwala eh,” said the native of Compostela Valley.
“Kanina ko lang din nalaman. Sinabi sa akin ng mga coaches.”
Entering the draft, Ambohot prepared himself for the worst.
After all, it was only this season that he was able to put up what was expected of him by the Knights. So far, he is averaging 10.45 points, 10.45 rebounds, and 1.55 blocks.
“Hindi ako nage-expect para hindi masaktan. Kahit anong team, basta makapirma ako,” he continued.
However, Ambohot is still not thinking about his next journey with the FiberXers.
Ambohot and the Knights are still in the midst of a best-of-three finals series against Mapua.
Tough was their Game One encounter, as Letran had to rally back to secure the Game One win and move on the verge of back-to-back crowns.
“Para sa akin naman, ‘di ko muna iniisip yung PBA. Hindi kasi ako advance mag-isip,” quipped Ambohot, who had six points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in Letran’s 68-63 win.
“Pero gagawin ko lang yung best ko pagdating sa PBA, kung ano yung pagagawa sa akin.”
One thing he feels excited about is playing alongside Justin Arana, the fourth overall pick in the draft.
The two have had many battles in the NCAA, but became teammates in Pasig during the inaugural tournament of Filbasket last year.
“Yun nga eh, mas okay yun kasi dalawa na kaming rookies sa team, tapos kaibigan ko rin siya eh. Nagkasama kami sa Pasig sa Filbasket,” he said about the 6-foot-7 big man out of Arellano.
Now secured of a job in the pros, Ambohot vows to not rest on his laurels.
At any given time, he knows that his dream can be shattered in a moment if he lets his guard down.
“Siguro kailang mag-improve pa ako pero alam ko naman na tutulungan naman ako ng mga veterans dun tsaka ng mga coaches. Ineexpect ko naman na tutulungan ako doon pero kailangan ko pa rin talaga mag-trabaho.”