Becoming a Ginebra regular a "dream come true" for De Guzman

Taken during the PBA Draft Combine on Wednesday.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Once upon a time, Jericho De Guzman came to Ginebra practice but solely to prepare the team, especially big guys Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, for its games.

But on Sunday, he got a "promotion".

The 6-foot-11 beanpole out of CSB became a permanent member of the Barangay after they drafted him with the latter of their two first round picks in the regular PBA Draft, which eventually became the ninth overall pick after the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, who originally had the ninth pick, passed on the regular draft.

"Eto na yun! Dream come true para sa akin na maging kabarangay," De Guzman, who also said that his family is a group of solid Ginebra fans, told Dugout Philippines after the draft.

While some recent mock drafts made accurate forecasts of him heading to Ginebra, he admitted that he was surprised the team took him at number nine overall.

"Di ko in-expect na sila ang nag-draft sa akin, pero sobrang saya ko talaga," De Guzman revealed.

He also believes this selection has some divine intervention as well.

He bared, "Pinag-pray ko sa Diyos araw-araw bago makarating ng draft na sana kunin nila ako."

About the "promotion", De Guzman said, "To be with them, talagang iba. Kailangan ko nang i-level ang sarili ko sa level nila para makatulong talaga ako sa kanila at ma-uplift ang ng Ginebra."

Already practicing alongside Coach Tim Cone, De Guzman shared, "Binibigyan niya ako ng mga tips. Yung basketball knowledge niya, fini-feed niya talaga sa amin. Kaya masasabi kong malaki ang tulong ni Coach Tim sa akin."

Now a regular Gin King, De Guzman vowed, "Ngayon pa lang, ibibigay ko na ang lahat para sa championship."

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