Not too many Davao City ballers make it to the tough collegiate leagues in the Big City.
For those who made it to either the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the ride ain’t too easy. But getting there is good enough.
Of late, those who etched their mark in the UAAP and the NCAA are high-scoring Alvin Pasaol of the University of the East and Jomari Presbiterio of San Beda. Before them, there were Baser Amer, John Pinto and Scottie Thompson who are now in the PBA.
But for ballers from Davao to make it to schools with a championship tradition, the road is even tougher.
Former Ateneo de Davao University standout Francis Gabriel Escandor is the latest addition to the De La Salle Green Archers squad in the UAAP and could be making his debut this season.
Young but talented and tough, the 6-foot-3 Escandor is part of the Green Archers squad in the preseason Filoil Flying V Cup and DLSU’s entry to the Hanes One-On-One King of the Hardcourt.
“Looking at him now from where he was six years ago is a total transformation, he has gone a long way,” said personal trainer-coach Ronel Leuterio who guided the then chunky Escandor when he was playing in the Cadets division back in Davao City.
Escandor, son of Presidential Adviser on Sports and Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) regional director Glenn Escandor, is making ripples in the one-on-one sideshow after chalking up two wins in his first two outings despite being the youngest in the competitions. He lost in sudden death overtime to the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Joe Gomez De Liaño who won by scoring on a lay-up.
In the game report, De Liaño was down 10-7 to Escandor who scored on a variety of drives and long bombs. The UP veteran had to dig deep to salvage the come-from-behind win.
The 21-year old Gomez De Liaño knocked down a triple to even matters up at 10-all. After a 14-second shot clock violation by Escandor, the UP forward scored to take a two-point lead with 13 seconds left. Escandor drove and scored to send the game into overtime.
Both players missed their first two chances, but it was Gomez De Liaño who emerged the winner when he drove in and got fouled in the process for the 14-12 win.
“It was definitely hard,” said Gomez De Liaño who is now 3-0 in the individual contest. “That guy (Escandor) is good. It went down to breaks of the game and wanting it more.”
Last Thursday, Escandor scored three points as De La Salle University overwhelmed Arellano University, 95-62, in the 2019 Filoil Flying V UAAP preseason tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.
LA SALLE 95 — Baltazar 21, Melecio 16, Serrano 16, Bartlett 11, Caracut 8, Lojera 8, David 5, Escandor 3, Cu 3, Capacio 2, Lim 0, Manaytay 0.
ARELLANO 62 — Bayla 19, Salado 14, Arana 8, Concepcion 5, Alcoriza 4, Sacramento 4, Villar 4, Segura 2, Loyola 2, Sablan 0, Espiritu 0, Santos 0, Gayosa 0, Cruz 0, Sunga 0, Sera Josef 0.
QUARTER SCORES: 17-19, 35-38, 61-48, 95-62.