During the first day of competition of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Under-16 Pambansang Tatluhan at the Harrison Plaza in Manila Last October 20, there was one loud and familiar onlooker in the crowd. It was current University of the East King Red Warrior Alvin Pasaol who cheered on his hometown Davao team taking part in the 3×3 tournament.
But there was one particular player Pasaol was vociferous in his support… it was his 16-year old brother John Rey.
The youngest of two Pasaol siblings sizzled all tournament long. He hit triples, drove and hung in the air for acrobatic lay-ups, and defended with that familiar ferocity.
John Rey was at a loss for words for his older brother’s support. “Siya lang ang idol ko at wala nang iba,” said the younger brother who got teary-eyed talking about his kuya. “First time ko pumunta rito sa Manila at malaking bagay nandito siya. Sa Davao, sa telebisyon ko lang siya napapanood at sobrang proud ako sa mga nagagawa niya.”
Like his kuya before him, John Rey is currently enrolled at Assumption College of Davao in Davao Del Sur. “Meron pa akong three years sa high school at senior high,” said the five-foot-eleven John Rey. “Siyempre, dream ko makapaglaro din sa Manila at sa UAAP.”
When asked what Alvin’s best advice was over the weekend, “Puso lang at tapang,” divulged the younger brother. “Kasi raw yung attitude na ganyan ang magdadala sa iyo para maging focused ka sa mga goals mo sa buhay.”
Even if John Rey’s Davao squad fell to Laguna (Region 4A) in the finals of the U16 Pambansang Tatluhan, 21-16, the buzz was about the young kid from Davao who greatly impressed with his never-say-die attitude and derring-do on the court.
Don’t be surprised if some Manila school snaps him up.