After being in the PBA for four years, Karl Dehesa was left unsigned by the Alaska Aces during the off-season ahead of the 44th season of the Big League.
But the 6-foot-2 combo guard is still flourishing outside of the pros.
“It’s kind of hard to see something outside of the PBA, something you have been comfortable with,” shared Dehesa, who had stints with the Kia franchise, Globalport, and Alaska during his PBA career.
“I took a gamble in myself and I trusted my instinct, trusted my gut to make the right decision for my family. It’s paying off.”
Instead of trying to crack a PBA club, Dehesa looked outside of the box, taking a risk with upstart league Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 and signing with the Vigan Baluarte Wolves.
The former FIBA 3X3 World Cuper was able to lead the Wolves to two semifinals appearances in the five-legged President’s Cup.
The Filipino-American was then signed by the 1Bataan Risers for the Chooks-to-Go Asia Pacific Super Quest.
Doing the math, each Riser took home a ballpark amount of PHP 440,000 each for that campaign – a surprise even for Dehesa himself.
“I’m very grateful to have this opportunity. Playing in the PBA for four years, going through that experience, I got a little comfortable in that PBA bubble. Stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things I enjoy doing, it’s paying off. Chooks is supporting what we are doing,” expressed Dehesa, who will also get to play in the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters in Doha from April 18 to 19.
“Seeing that there’s another world outside of the PBA and other avenues to earn money as well, I’m just grateful to be in this space right now.”
In 1Bataan, Dehesa gets to play with Alvin Pasaol and Santi Santillan, both of whom are seen as top PBA prospects come the 2020 Rookie Draft. And having played in the pros, Dehesa has one piece of advice for them.
“If they are a hundred-percent, if money is all they are looking for, that’s good and all. But if you are not having fun, it’s not gonna add up. My advice to them is to do what they want to do, if it’s the PBA or 3×3,” the soft-spoken product of Waldorf College said.
“They should follow what makes them happy.”
Definitely, Dehesa is now all in on 3×3.
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