For the past two years, John Wilson has been the face of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The 6-foot-2 gunner had been in the finals of the last two MPBL Finals, leading Go for Gold-San Juan to the top during the Datu Cup. He also won Most Valuable Player in the Chooks-to-Go Lakan Season.
So it came as a surprise when the 34-year-old signed with Ozamiz Cotta in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup-Mindanao Leg last weekend.
But according to Wilson, his move from the semi-pro league to the pros has the blessing of the Knights’ chief. He has been a free agent since the Finals ended last March 21.
“Siyempre masaya ako kasi may bagong opportunity kaagad para sa akin after ng [stay ko sa] San Juan Knights,” Wilson, who averaged 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.4 steals in 41 games played in the Lakan Season, told Tiebreaker Times.
The fate of San Juan remains unknown heading into the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Mumbaki Cup, which is slated to begin on June 12.
In Ozamiz, Wilson will have a veteran-laden team surrounding him. The likes of Pamboy Raymondo, Carlo Lastimosa, Marvin Hayes, Joseph Eriobu, and Jayvee Marcelino are all part of the squad.
A full month before the Mindanao Leg opens, the Cotta is being pegged as a title-favorite. But Wilson downplays the label saying that the field is tough.
“Underdog nga kami eh,” he quipped. “Sa name lang malakas… Well kahit sa name nga hindi eh!
“Tignan niyo ‘yung line-up ng Roxas at Basilan — Basilan especially. Basilan ‘yung totoong powerhouse kasi ‘yung third five nila, puwedeng pang first five at pang endgame.”