After a failed title run with the Nazareth School of National University in UAAP Season 80, versatile forward Rhayyan Amsali made the decision to part ways with the school in search for a fresh start.
Amsali, then 17 years young, then found a new home in Mendiola with the San Beda Red Cubs. There, he suited up right away in the 2018 FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. However, in the middle of the tournament, Amsali received some heart-wrenching news that stalled his young career.
National University did not give Amsali his release papers due to a “failing mark” in one of his classes, cutting down his supposedly two-year stint with the Red Cubs to just one.
Handling news of that magnitude was very hard for a teenager like Amsali. But luckily for him, San Beda booster Manny V. Pangilinan was there to help him get through.
“Pagdating kasi kay boss, si boss talaga ‘yung tinulungan niya talaga ako nung start, nung hindi ako nakalaro ng first year ko sa San Beda, and parang tinulungan niya talaga ako,” shared Amsali in Tiebreaker Vods’ CPT Crossover, presented by SMART Sports.
“Siya ‘yung nag-support sa akin na may makilala rin ako na ibang alumni ng San Beda.”
Through Pangilinan, Amsali was able to cope with the situation. He even introduced him to several prominent alumni of the school, which made the transition smooth for him.
“Tinulungan nila ako by spiritually, mentally, physically.
“So ‘yun, parang hindi ako nawala sa… ‘Yung sinasabi nga na naging negative ‘yung mga iniisip ko sa basketball. Mas lalo akong umangat dahil kay boss saka ‘yung coaches namin, alumni. Sila po talaga ‘yung nagbigay ng opportunity sa akin na maging ganito sa basketball career ko,” added Amsali, who was also able to represent the Philippines in various international youth tournaments thanks to the Batang Gilas program.
For that, the 6-foot-4 swingman will remain forever indebted to Pangilinan. And so he made sure to make his first and last year in the NCAA juniors count.
Amsali steered the Red Cubs to its first championship since 2015, putting up per game counts of 16.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.6 steals, while also copping the Finals MVP plum.
And to further show his faith and loyalty to the sports patron, Amsali even committed to suit up for the MVP-backed San Beda seniors’ squad as he hopes to help the Red Lions reclaim the crown they just lost last season.