Calvin Abueva was drafted 2nd overall in 2012. Ian Sangalang followed the succeeding year in the
same order. That puts two-thirds of San Sebastian’s Pinatubo Trio in the country’s premiere basketball league – the PBA.
Both Abueva and Sangalang made an impact in their respective rookie years while the only piece of the Pinatubo Trio left behind was still finding the right time to enter the league. Ronald Pascual expressed his desire to play in the PBA alongside Sangalang but some injuries and personal reasons prompted him to decline from joining the draft.
Finally applying in the 2014 Rookie Draft, Pascual was drafted 3rd overall by the San Miguel Beermen through a trade with Barako Bull. Being drafted behind top picks Stanley Pringle and Kevin Alas, Pascual was an unexpected draftee as no mock drafts predicted him as a 3rd overall pick.
Upon his entry to the league, Pascual was rarely used in significant minutes of the game unlike the rest of the Pinatubo Trio. However, late in the conference and particularly in the playoffs, he saw a huge increase in his playing time which he gladly accepted.
“Masarap kasi nung unang mga games struggle ako nun,” said Pascual.
He also thanked coach Leo Austria for the confidence and minutes that were given to him late in the Philippine Cup. Pascual cited the motivations that Austria gives him every game which he sees as one of the reasons for his career resurgence.
“Para sakin positive ‘to kasi sa mga nangyayari ngayon,” said the former Stag of his slightly delayed entry to the PBA as he is now in the championship series for a chance to bag a ring in his rookie season- a feat that was achieved by both Abueva and Sangalang.
“Masaya ako kasi nagagawa ko yung role ko sa team,” ended Pascual who has seen multiple starts during the playoffs. In fact, he scored the first points of San Miguel’s finals series against Alaska as he faced his former teammate Abueva.
Pascual currently ranks 5th of all rookies in the league.