Low draft selection fuels Jeff Chan drive in PBA
Barangay Ginebra gunner Jeff Chan used his draft selection as fuel to carve out what has been a solid 12-year career so far highlighted by four PBA titles and impressive runs with the national team.
The Bacolod-born Chan, 37, was the 17th pick of the 2008 draft headlined by Rain or Shine star Gabe Norwood.
“My family and friends were very happy that I got drafted, but somehow I didn’t feel well on that day,” Chan recalled on the Crossover podcast.
“I knew I was already blessed to be drafted because there were a lot of players who did not get picked because the draft was only two rounds. But I felt I could have been picked higher.”
Chan has put together better careers than majority of the players in his draft class – only six of them are still in the PBA – with stints with Gilas Pilipinas in 2013 in the Fiba Asia Championships in Manila and in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain considered as his finest achievements.
“Whenever I needed motivation, I always remember the day I got drafted,” said Chan.
Looking ahead, Chan feels the stalled Philippine Cup is his best chance of finally ending a 12-year wait for an All-Filipino title.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the PBA to suspend the current season with October targeted as the earliest time for the league to resume the Philippine Cup.
Chan won only two titles in his first nine seasons in the league, before capturing two more crowns in import-laced tournaments in the last two years following his move to the Gin Kings from the Phoenix Fuelmasters.
“My expectation this year was to finally win an All-Filipino championship, which is the only thing missing in my career,” said Chan. “Coming off a championship last season, we were excited (going into this season) and I felt our group had bonded pretty well. Everyone was healthy and ready to contribute.”
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