Back in 2011, Dylan Ababou was one of the brightest young prospects entering the PBA.
The 6-foot-3 gunner had just won the UAAP Men’s Basketball Most Valuable Player plum two years prior, and was one of Gilas Pilipinas’ leading scorers.
However, after being picked 10th overall in the 2011 PBA Rookie Draft, Ababou could not carve his own niche in the big league. The UST product was shipped from team to team.
In his eighth year, he was left in free agency after not being picked up by either the Columbian Dyip or the NorthPort Batang Pier.
But this did not stop him from living his dream, as he was signed by the Pasig Grindhouse Kings to play in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.
“Very happy kasi after hindi ako na-sign sa Columbian Dyip at sa Northport, iniisip ko kung sa’n ako maglalaro. Puno na yung Alab, bawal na Asian imports sa ABL, wala pa atang D-League tapos yung MPBL May pa,” confessed the one-time PBA All-Star.
“Ang ginawa ko, nag-training lang ako, tapos bigla na lang may 3×3 for the first time sa Olympics. Tapos nagtayo pa ng liga yung Chooks-to-Go.”
The once young gun though is now a veteran. And Ababou is in charge with the Kings as he leads a young pack that features prospects like Taylor Statham, Troy Rike, and Joshua Munzon.
Having learned from some of the finest in the game, Ababou is wholeheartedly paying it forward.
“Kapag nagsasalita ako, nakikinig muna sila. It’s a very good thing. ‘Yun ‘yung importanteng element kaya kami nanalo,” said Ababou after towing Pasig Grindhouse to the Chooks 3×3 Preseason championship.
“Naging one page kami dahil dun. Naging mabilis yung adjustment namin kasi very hungry sila.”
Still, he is not giving up on his dream of playing in the big league. But for now, Ababou just wants to be known again.
“Oo siyempre. Ultimate dream ng lahat na maglaro sa PBA. Bukod sa Olympics and World Championships, ito yung dream. Basta I’ll set my standards, play my A-game, hopefully ma-call up ulit,” he admitted.
“Pero committed ako dito sa team namin sa Pasig Grindhouse at Chooks-to-Go.”