Uyloan says D-League stint with Cignal ‘rejuvenated’ his career
For Jonathan Uyloan playing somewhere else is better than not playing at all.
With Meralco set to put him in the reserve list, the sharpshooting guard made the bold decision and asked the management to allow him to play for Cignal HD in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“I asked Meralco if I could play with Cignal and everything worked out well. Some people may think it’s a demotion, but for me, it’s a blessing. I have a contract with Meralco and I have a contract with Cignal. I was pretty much working two jobs,” he said.
Turns out, it was the right move with Uyloan going as far as citing this stint with the Hawkeyes as one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
“It was probably the best move of my career. It made me love basketball more,” he said. “I came from the PBL before, and I was a practice player for Rain or Shine. The move helped me go back to where I came from. I wasn’t the superstar, I had to work my way up, so going back to Cignal rejuvenated my basketball career.”
Suiting up in time for the playoffs, Uyloan averaged 8.0 points on a 39 percent shooting from threes, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists as he became a valuable contributor for Cignal’s back-to-back title wins in the developmental ranks.
But more than anything, what the Fil-Am guard treasures more is the chance to be with this group of guys, a mix of veteran campaigners and aspiring amateurs, all seeking to make it to the PBA.
“It was great, being around with guys who are hungry to get better in basketball and are trying to make it to the PBA. I’m happy to help out and show that it all starts with integrity and hardwork first. And it all paid off,” he said.
With this short stint now over, Uyloan is positive that he has made a good account of himself as he returns to the Bolts.
“I just hope that they see that wherever I’m at, I’ll work hard. With Rain or Shine, I was able to win a championship for the first time. And then, when I was with GlobalPort, that team went to the semifinals for the first time. With Meralco, we made it to the Finals for the first time. Then here in Cignal, we became back-to-back champions. Every team I’ve been on, it’s been a blessing,” he said.
“I don’t know what it is. But I just know that where I come from, it’s all hard work and you got to show it in every team you go. Every part of the team is valuable and whatever they bring individually, collectively, it’s going to be great.”