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Justin Arana not letting high projections affect focus


Justin Arana would rather keep himself grounded than get caught up with the projection on him in the PBA Season 47 Rookie Draft on Sunday.

While he appreciates being seen by pundits to be picked high in the much-awaited proceedings, the Arellano product insisted that there remains more work to be done as he now begins his journey to realizing a dream.

“Malaking tulong para sa’kin. Pero hindi pa rin ako kampante,” said the 6-foot-7 big man during Wednesday’s Draft Combine at Gatorade Hoops Center.

“Alam ko sa sarili ko na kulang pa ‘ko, alam ko sa sarili ko na marami pa talaga akong kailangang i-develop,” he added.

Arana’s stock rose following a final run to remember with the Chiefs in the NCAA Season 94, which saw him norm 14.78 points, 17.11 rebounds, and 2.78 blocks.

So impressive was the cager from Daet that he emerged as the frontrunner for MVP honors, but that got dashed as Arellano barely missed the playoffs. And, yes, he did all that despite a sprained anterior crucial ligament (ACL).

Arana, though, assured that there’s nothing to worry about his knee anymore since he’s being taken good care of by the university.

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“Kasi alaga pa rin naman ako ng Arellano,” he said. “Nagte-therapy at nagii-strengthening pa rin ako every day sa kanila.

“Sobrang alaga ng Arellano, kaya thankful ako na napunta ako sa kanila.”

Teams have surely taken notice of his potential, but Arana himself does not want to think of anything except becoming better. In fact, he believes that there are plenty of other big men in his class who are way better than him.

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However, the former UST Tiger vowed to be the same tireless workhorse that he was for Arellano for any team that would choose him on Sunday.

“Sila kasi, sa skills talaga sila buma-base e. Skills-wise, talagang ‘di natin makakaila. Siguro ano lang sa’kin, ‘yung pagiging masipag ko. Una kasi sa’kin talaga depensa, ‘yun talaga priority ko,” Arana offered.

“Kasi sa PBA, ‘di naman ako magiging star player e. Alam ko naman ‘yung magiging role ko (bilang) role player. And willing talaga ako ibigay ‘yung hundred percent ko para makatulong ako sa team na kukuha sa akin.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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