By: Rom Anzures
Matthew Rubico may have experienced an early exit in the NCAA Season 98 Juniors Basketball tournament, but his impressive performance has undoubtedly caught the attention of scouts across the country.
With his combination of scoring, assists, and rebounds, the 5-foot-11 guard out of Lipa City, Batangas has become one of the most talked-about prospects in Philippine basketball.
At the end of the elimination round, Rubico led the league in scoring with 21.8 points per game and assists with 7.1 per game, while also grabbing an average of 10.2 rebounds in nine games.
Despite his success, Rubico remains humble, admitting that he was surprised at how well he performed throughout the season.
“Di ko po inexpect kasi mas maraming ahead pa po sakin, mas skilled and talented, pero syempre binigay ko lang po yung best ko every game,” the 19-year-old floor general told Tiebreaker Times.
But what sets Rubico apart from other basketball players is his team-first mentality. Even with his impressive individual statistics, Rubico remained focused on the success of his team in this campaign.
“Ginawa ko lang po kung ano yung maitutulong ko sa team. Ang mindset ko lang po ay kung ano yung makakabuti sa team, ‘yun yung gagawin ko sa loob ng court,” he said.
Rubico’s outstanding performance has not gone unnoticed, with offers pouring in from both the NCAA and the UAAP. However, he remains undecided on where he will play in the college ranks.
“Meron pong mga kumo-contact sa akin at may mga promising schools na nagri-reach out. But still undecided padin po ako and yung family ko. Kasi madami din po kaming kino-consider,” said Rubico, who previously went to school in De La Salle-Lipa before going to Lyceum-Cavite.
Of course, Lyceum is one of Rubico’s suitors but De La Salle University is also interested, according to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation.
Rubico values both education and basketball equally, and his family is helping him weigh his options to make the best decision for his future.
“Siyempre yung pipiliin ko po na school is yung sa tingin namin makakabuti sa future ko at matutulungan ako mag-improve sa lahat ng aspeto ng laro…yung may quality education kasi in the end, student pa ‘rin po ako sa kabila ng pagiging athlete ko.”
Despite his impressive performance in the NCAA Juniors tournament, Rubico remains humble, determined to improve his skills, and achieve success both on and off the court.
With his talent, work ethic, and team-first mentality, it’s clear that a bright future lies ahead for this young stalwart.