Though he has experienced a lot of lows, Jeff Viernes is sticking to the highs.
Coming off a stint in the Thailand Basketball Super Legue, the pint-sized gunslinger quickly turned heads, playing outstanding basketball for the Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers during the Aspirants Cup. And he quickly caught the attention of multiple scouts — including the Globalport Batang Pier.
After leading the Revellers to the Finals, the 28-year-old guard was signed by the Batang Pier, making him miss the Aspirants Cup Finals.
But his high would only last for two games.
When Globalport signed defensive specialist Paolo Javelona last May 8, it came at the expense of Viernes, who had to be let go.
Instead of sulking, Viernes decided to move on. He had unfinished business to attend to.
“Alam mo naman ang mundo ng basketball, ganyan talaga. Kailangan maging ready ka sa lahat ng nangyayari. Wala akong plano nung una. Gusto ko lang tulungan ang Che’Lu,” Viernes reflected.
“Siyempre, pag may maganda kang ginagawa, may magaganda ring dumarating. Dumarating din yung medyo hindi maganda.
“Pero life goes on. Kung ano ang nangyayari sa buhay, masama man yan, ‘wag mo na lang isipin. Ipagpatuloy mo lang yung magandang ginagawa mo,” he furthered.
Unlike last conference however, Viernes’ load will be much bigger. Che’Lu struggled to field in a complete team in the off-season, as most of the aspirants and former league veterans decided to join the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League instead.
“Ngayon naman, nag-promise ako kay coach Steve [Tiu] na no matter what, tatapusin ko itong D-League namin. ‘Di na ako nag-MPBL para mas focused ako dito sa D-League,” the product of St. Clare College shared.
“Yun ang pambawi ko sa kanila.”
However, the lack of familiarity within the hastily-formed club team showed in their opening game, as Che’Lu were easily disposed of by the CEU Scorpions, 78-94.
Still, Viernes remains unperturbed, vowing that they will be back in the D-League Finals.
“Sabi ko nga, itong conference na ito, wala kaming ibang goal kung hindi bumalik sa Finals ulit at kung palarin, makuha ang championship kasi six teams lang,” he expressed. “Yung chance namin, malaki. Yun nga lang, yung chemistry ang kulang namin at ang hirap kumuha ng players dahil may sari-sarili silang mga commitment sa ibang teams.
“Kung anong meron kaming materyales, kung sino ang kasama namin, pagtatrabahuan namin hanggang makuha namin ang kampeonato.”