Jaydee Tungcab received an opportunity of a lifetime last December. But just as it was given to him, it was also taken away by things beyond his control.
A week after Gilas arrived from Manama, Bahrain, the 6-foot-2 swingman received an offer from B.League Division II team Koshigaya Alphas. Tungcab did not bat a lash at the offer, immediately accepting a role as the team’s Asian import.
Koshigaya expected Tungcab to arrive in early January. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rage on and crush another dream.
“Dapat sana, makakapaglaro ako sa Japan. Okay na ang lahat. Pero nung December, may dumating na bagong strain,” Tungcab shared to Tiebreaker Times.
“Kahit anong apply ko ng visa, hindi ako pinapayagan. Hanggang sa nagka-travel ban na.”
Japan has entered a state of emergency after a rise in cases. On the other hand, the emergence of a new coronavirus strain forced the Philippines to enter a lockdown.
The B.League then decided to stop the entry of new imports to start the year.
Koshigaya badly wanted the services of Tungcab, offering the same contract for the B.League’s 2021-22 season. However, the 23-year-old had to turn it down.
“Nag-offer din sila na dumating ako sa bagong season sa August, pero siyempre kailangan ko rin [i-]support ‘yung family ko,” lamented Tungcab.
“Si papa [Frederick Sr.] at mama [Janet] ko wala namang work. Ako ‘yung bread-winner. May dalawa pa kong kapatid na mas bata sa akin.”
And so Tungcab made a huge leap on Monday afternoon, submitting his name to the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft.
At the end of the day, his end goal is to play for the big league. The opportunity to play abroad remains a pipedream.
“Siyempre, una naman sa lahat, lahat ng basketball players sa atin, pangarap maging PBA. Next siyempre ‘yung abroad. Hindi ko naman inexpect na magkaka-opportunity na maglaro abroad,” said Tungcab.
“Pero at least masaya na sana makatungtong sa PBA.”
The University of the Philippines product is not picky on where he wants to end up. For him, he will do whatever he can for the team that gambles on him.
“Gagawin ko ang lahat pag na-draft ako – depensa, mag-score, lahat gagawin ko para makatulong sa team na pipili sa akin.”