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Jonnel Policarpio bids farewell to La Salle, declares for PBA Draft

After a long period of deliberation about his future in basketball, young Jonnel Policarpio has decided to move on to the next chapter in his career.

The incoming La Salle sophomore has declared for the 2024 PBA Rookie Draft, which will take place on July 14 at Glorietta.

It has been a long seven months for the 22-year-old athletic Kapampangan forward.

Policarpio had considered transferring to an NCAA school early this year but decided to remain for the second semester.

In the end, he chose to join the pro ranks for his family on Tuesday.

“Para sa pamilya ko po talaga kaya ako magpapa-draft,” Policarpio told Tiebreaker Times.

“Ang hirap man po iwanan ang La Salle, kailangan ko po isipin ang asawa at anak ko po. Yun po ang dahilan kaya ako magpapa-draft.”

UAAP86-3x3-Jonnel-Policarpio-06966 Jonnel Policarpio bids farewell to La Salle, declares for PBA Draft Basketball DLSU News PBA UAAP  - philippine sports news

(C) UAAP Season 86

During his freshman year, Policarpio contributed to two championships for the Green Archers.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 6.69 points, 4.63 rebounds, and 2.19 assists per game in La Salle’s golden run in the men’s 5-on-5 tournament.

He then led La Salle to retain the men’s 3×3 title last May, where he was hailed as Rookie of the Year.

“Blessing pa rin po sa akin yung mga nangyayari sa buhay ko at thankful talaga ako. Sana masaya rin para sa akin si Coach Topex (Robinson) dahil ito na po yung pinagtrabahuan namin,” he expressed.

“Kung anuman ang mangyari sa akin sa PBA, para ito kay Coach at para ito sa La Salle.”

With Policarpio entering the draft, he will be a wild card for the 12 PBA teams.

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At his young age, many view Policarpio as a raw talent waiting to be unleashed.

UAAP-86-MBB-NU-vs.-DLSU-Jonnel-Policarpio-2 Jonnel Policarpio bids farewell to La Salle, declares for PBA Draft Basketball DLSU News PBA UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Para sa akin, offense at defense, feeling ko kaya ko na makipagsabayan sa mga kuya ko sa PBA. Pinagtrabahuan talaga namin nila Coach Migs (Aytona) at Coach Gelo (Vito) depensa ko at kung gaano ako tatagal sa court,” said Policarpio, who will be represented by Phenom Championship Clinic, headed by Anton Brodett.

“Kung sakali man ma-draft ako, always ready ako sa kung sino man ang mag-draft sa’kin.”

Before moving on to the next stage of his career, Policarpio shared that he will always look back at his one year at La Salle with gratitude and wonder.

Despite the personal troubles he encountered, his coaches, managers, and teammates never left his side.

He not only played for a team, but also gained a family.

UAAP86-MBB-G3-CHAMPION-DLSU-7394 Jonnel Policarpio bids farewell to La Salle, declares for PBA Draft Basketball DLSU News PBA UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang mga payo at tulong na binigay sa akin ng mga managers sa La Salle, sila Sir Andoy (Reyes), Boss Mans (Carpio), Sir Johnny (Valdez), Sir Terry (Capistrano), Sir Justice (Andres Reyes), Sir Eric (Ongcauco), at Tito Raffy (Villavicencio). Ang dami kong aral na natutunan sa kanila na madadala ko sa buong buhay ko,” he shared.

“Sa lahat ng coaches at teammates ko sa La Salle, maraming salamat sa lahat. Hinding-hindi ko sila makakalimutan at wala ako dito kung wala sila,” he added.

“Sana, kahit papano, maging proud sila sa akin, lalong-lalo na ang La Salle community.”

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