Basketball never stopped for Raymar Jose, as did the effort he put in for every game.
At 6-foot-4, Jose is not the tallest player on the court. And battling against the frontlines of opposing teams made him realize that he needed to exert more effort to get the rebound.
“Ngayon, halos lahat ng player gusto umiskor lang, nakakalimutan nila yung little things gaya ng paglaro ng defense at mag-rebound,” shared Jose, who averaged 12.27 points and 10.18 rebounds for the Cignal HD Hawkeyes during the 2017 Foundation Cup.
Still, being a tenacious rebounder and a bruiser is a job that rarely gets rewarded in basketball.
Thursday night changed all this, as the native of Negros Occidental was hailed as the conference MVP, edging out Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, and JK Casino — all of whom are known for their offensive prowess.
And as Jose heard the news on social media — as he is currently battling with Gilas Pilipinas in the 29th SEA Games — he was surprised that he has been crowned with the top honor of the second league.
“Sa totoo lang, hindi ko ine-expect na mananalo ako ng MVP.
“Binibigay ko lang kasi lagi yung best ko every game mas lalo na sa rebounding. Yun lang naman talaga kasi strength ko e, so dun ako kumukuha ng kumpiyansa sa laro ko,” shared Jose in a message to Tiebreaker Times.
“Siyempre masaya ako na nanalo ako ng MVP hindi ko naman makukuha yun kung hindi din dahil sa coaching staff at teammate ko. Kaya sobrang laking pasasalamat ko sa kanila dahil kung wala sila, hindi ko ito makukuha,” he added.
Having finally been acknowledged, Jose is dedicating this award to each and every bruiser out there who is willing to take one for the team.
“Malaking bagay ito sa mga players na katulad ko na sipag lang yung puhunan.”