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PBA Draft hopefuls Daguplo, Yasa turn to defense in hopes of selection

Yasa, Daguplo, and Flores along with PBA Draft aspirant Mac Tobias and the Sports on Air panelists. Screen capture from YouTube
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Many believe that today's basketball has been offense oriented, that is, the premium given to defense has been less than it was during the 80's until the 2000's.

So it has somehow been uncommon to hear draft hopefuls saying that they will bank on their stopping skills to earn a spot in the pros.

However, it is indeed the case for aspirants Jay-R Yasa and Bryan Daguplo as they told Sports on Air on Wednesday.

"Mas focused ako sa depensa kasi defensive player talaga ako," said Yasa, a former PCU Dolphin who played for Alberei in the PBA D-League, Pasig, Navotas, and Zamboanga in the MPBL, and Taguig in the NBL.

"Alam naman natin na doon sa PBA, andoon na lahat yung mga de-kalidad na player, yung mga scorer. Ang maibibigay ko is yung kasipagan ko sa depensa bilang isang lockdown defender sa scorer sa kabilang team," added Daguplo, who played college ball for STI and Philippine Merchant Maritime School, D-League basketball for Hazchem, and regional ball for Imus in the MPBL.

Yasa even said that he is willing to give way to his teammates in terms of scoring.

"Hindi po ako makikipag-agawan ng score, lalo na sa mga scorer. Ang gagawin ko lang ay gawin ko lang yung role ko, which is rumebound, dumepensa, at yung mga hustle," the six-foot-four forward continued.

Kiko Flores, who has been guiding both Yasa and Daguplo in their PBA Draft journey, can vouch to their claims.

"They are born defenders. They are really committed on how to play defense," said Flores, a former college basketball player who has turned into skills coaching upon his graduation. "Yun yung ginawa nilang puhunan."

He added that both players can be of great help to teams looking for role players in the star studded draft.

Flores also said that Yasa and Daguplo have one vital intangible that could make them assets in the teams that would possibly pick them in the draft despite not being projected to be taken early into the Sunday night event.

"I believe these guys are very high character players. Yung character nila iba. Yan yung hinahanap ng mga ibang coaches sa draft ngayon," Flores further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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