JL Delos Santos was surprised to find himself highly coveted by Converge.
During the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft last weekend, the crafty guard from Jose Rizal University was selected as the 19th overall pick by the FiberXers.
Still available on the board at that time were players such as James Kwekuteye, JB Bahio, Brent Paraiso, Fran Yu, and King Caralipio.
That’s why the native of Dasmarinas, Cavite couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the pressure and grateful for the opportunity given to him by Aldin Ayo.
“Sobrang saya at overwhelmed ako na na-draft ako,” he expressed. “Pangarap ng pamilya ko ito, pati na rin ng mga kapatid ko at ng tatay ko, na makapasok ako sa PBA. Mas lalo akong magpupursige para makuha ‘yung spot sa Converge.
“After this season, mas magdoble effort ako.”
The skilled floor general has been a consistent presence during JRU’s challenging times.
As he enters his final years at 24 years old, he is determined to turn things around.
“Hindi ko siya pinapasok sa utak ko. Focused ako dito sa team namin at sinusunod ko lang yung sinasabi ng coaching staff namin na maglaro ng maayos at i-guide yung teammates namin,” continued Delos Santos, wanting to end JRU’s six-year Final Four drought.
To kick off their NCAA Season 99 campaign, Delos Santos dazzled, recording nine points, 11 assists, two steals, and a block.
“Ako talaga yung inasign na dumepensa kanya. Ginawa ko lang yung part ko pero may mga lapses pa rin.
“Kailangan ko pa i-workout yun. Pero teamwork talaga kami sa defense at na-limit namin yung points niya. Dun kami nakakakuha ng opensa namin, sa depensa,” he said after their 85-79 overtime conquest of Letran.
It’s safe to say that Delos Santos is hoping for one thing—a happy ending to his collegiate career.
“Kita naman sa laro kanina na nandun na yung chemistry namin at yung effort nandun.”