‘Surprised’ Paul Desiderio excited to join Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas at NLEX
MANILA, Philippines—“Atin to!” is coming to the PBA, and NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao knows it.
Guiao used a variation of University of the Philippines “Atin To!” battlecry in announcing that he’ll be selecting the inspiring Paul Desiderio as the Road Warriors’ pick in the first round of the PBA Draft Sunday at Robinson’s Manila.
“Sa amin na ‘to (This belongs to us),” said Guiao before announcing Desiderio as the fourth overall pick, and this intro sent shivers, and pressure, to the new Road Warrior.
“I was surprised really because I didn’t expect that I’d be picked ahead of the other guys,” said Desiderio in Filipino. “I’m just so blessed that I’m going to NLEX and my goal right now is to not disappoint coach Yeng.”
The Fighting Maroons used Desiderio’s “Atin to!” shout back in the opening game of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament into their mantra during the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals.
Desiderio, who graduated UP as the captain of the Fighting Maroons, will join a stellar NLEX backcourt that has Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas.
“I’m ready and it’s a big thing that I will join Manong and Kevin (Alas) because they have a lot more experience compared to mine,” said Desiderio, referring to Kiefer Ravena.
Ravena, though, could only join Desiderio on the floor once his Fiba-mandated suspension in violation of anti-doping protocol is over.
“Even in practice I know that I will learn a lot from them,” added Desiderio.
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