Love for poor kids motivates Caluya as he chases PBA dream at 43

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG--As an old saying goes, "It's never too late to pursue your dreams."

Meet Charley Caluya, a 43-year-old guy from Manila who declared for this year's PBA Draft.

Caluya shared to Dugout Philippines on Wednesday during the first day of the draft combine at the Gatorade Hoops Center how he came up with the decision to test the pro league waters.

"Sinabi ko sa mga bata sa community na di nag-aaral at halos di nakakain, 'Someday, matutulungan ko kayo.' Wala akong alam na ibang source kundi sumali sa PBA," said Caluya, whose previous jobs include teaching English to Koreans and working for a factory.

On how he will help the kids through the PBA, he said, "May God-given talent ako. Gagamitin ko ito."

The 5-foot-7 guard admitted that the only competitive basketball event that he has been is the barangay leagues and that the UE alumnus did not even join the Red Warriors.

Also, in the combine, he has to participate alongside 52 younger and more athletic draft applicants.

However, he insisted, "Basketball is not a competition of strength or how fast you are but a competition of skills and discipline. At the age of 43, I can still play at a high level."

During Day 1 of the combine, which was intended to measure the draft applicants' athletic attributes, he was rated "good" in the Single Leg Hop Test and fared well in the 3/4 court sprint, finishing at 3.44 seconds.

On his upsides, he said, "I can dribble-drive-penetrate, [go] low post, and defend sa perimeter."

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