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Jerie Pingoy on breaking down during PBA Draft: ‘Gumuho talaga mundo ko’

One of the most heartwrenching moments in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft came in the fifth round.

When Phoenix Super LPG selected Jerie Pingoy at 52nd overall, the entire draft show turned silent. The scene showed Jerie Pingoy trying to wear his cap while crying his heart out.

“Sobrang sakit ng puso ko. Alam mo ‘yung out-of-nowhere, naiiyak na ‘ko? Nung natawag ako sabi ko, ‘Gagalingan ko talaga sa practice’,” Pingoy shared to Tiebreaker Times.

“Hanggang ngayon, naiiyak pa rin ako.”

Prior to throwing his name into the PBA draft early this year, the 26-year-old was about to leave the game.

UAAP-81-ADMU-vs.-ADU-Pingoy-4181 Jerie Pingoy on breaking down during PBA Draft: 'Gumuho talaga mundo ko' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

The 5-foot-9 guard out of Cebu decided to forego his final year in Adamson back in UAAP Season 82 after getting minimal minutes a season prior. Lost, Pingoy then tried his luck in the D-League with school-based squad CEU-Karate Kid.

2019-pba-dleague-dlsu-def-ceu-jerie-pingoy Jerie Pingoy on breaking down during PBA Draft: 'Gumuho talaga mundo ko' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

That, though, was also short-lived. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic stopped D-League play and ultimately his comeback.

“Alam mo naman na nawala ako ng ilang years. Gusto ko tumigil sa basketball pero pinush ko ‘yung sarili ko ng dalawang buwan. Walang tigil, walang kain. Mula workouts hanggang diet tinrabaho ko.”

This was the story of Pingoy’s career post-FEU Diliman.

Fresh off winning the UAAP Season 74 Juniors Basketball MVP plum, Pingoy committed to Ateneo. However, the league’s board decided to implement a rule that would force student-athletes from member high schools transferring to a rival college to sit out a couple of years.

The Jerie Pingoy rule.UAAP-78-ADMU-vs.-NU-Ravena-Pingoy-3898 Jerie Pingoy on breaking down during PBA Draft: 'Gumuho talaga mundo ko' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

His stint in Ateneo ended up being a short one since he could not meet the academic quota of the school in 2017. He then found a new lease on life in Adamson.

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This time around, though, there were no agents nor teams that called him up for a tryout prior to the PBA Draft. That is why he sought renowned manager and excellent life mentor Marvin Espiritu days prior.

“Wala naman tumawag sa akin. As in walang nag-contact sa akin. Nung last minute, tumawag na ko kay Sir Marvin kasi walang-wala ako.”

Prior to the draft, TV5 sent over caps from the 12 PBA teams to Pingoy’s house. These were only reserved for 20 players whom they felt would be called in the first two rounds of the draft.

It gave Pingoy hope.

However, as the picks were announced one by one, his heart sank and sank until he had no tears left to cry.

“Nung una pa lang, nung first to second round, sabi ko malabo na matawag ako. Nung third at fourth, mahirap na ‘yun e. Nawala kasi ako sa liga ng two years,” shared Pingoy, who could no longer fight through his tears.

“Nag-sorry ako sa parents ko dahil napabayaan ko sarili ko. Sabi nila na kahit undrafted ako, puwede mag-tryout. Sabi rin ni Sir Marvin, puwede naman mag-tryout sa 5v5, 3×3, o MPBL.”

But then Phoenix Super LPG captain ball Matthew Wright called his name. As seen on TV, he crumbled.

“Nung tinawag ako nung fifth round, gumuho talaga mundo ko. Ito na ‘yung chance ko na ma-prove na deserve ko rito,” said Pingoy.

Pingoy can easily relate to his new head coach Topex Robinson. Both are point guards and both were selected in the fifth round. Robinson, who had a 10-year PBA career, was selected in the 2001 draft.

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Now that Robinson has given him a chance to prove himself, it’s Pingoy’s turn to prove everyone wrong.

“Sabi din nila papa [Jerry] sa akin na there’s something special sa amin ni Coach Topex. Point guard siya, point guard din ako. Fifth round siya, fifth round din ako,” said Pingoy.

“Thankful ako kay Coach na dinraft ako. Pro-prove ko na deserve ko talaga.”

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