THERE are a lot of recreational league players who stood out in the country's major tournaments such as the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
One of them is Roy Cayanan, who is on his second season with the Makati Super Crunch, a team fighting for a place in the National Finals of the pandemic-stalled MPBL Lakan Season.
Cayanan is one of Makati's homegrown players, working hard to make it to the final roster of the team's inaugural campaign in 2018-19.
"Nag-training po ako almost one month bago ako makapasok sa Makati team," said Cayanan, who is also one of the guest players of the back-to-back UAAP Goodwill Games champion UAAP Media.
Unlike in smaller leagues where the games are held in small gyms where Cayanan is a household name, the MPBL is playing in bigger venues with a national television coverage.
Of course, the system is very different from the recreational leagues and Cayanan knows that he needs to prove himself in a higher level.
"Sobrang laki po ng pagkakaiba. Mas pressure at yung game di basta-basta lang. Lalo pag nasa loob ka na ng court," said Cayanan.
The Super Crunch and powerhouse San Juan Knights-Go For Gold are tied at one game apiece when the North Division Finals was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 crisis. The MPBL last played on March 11 behind closed doors at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Aside from keeping in shape at home during the lockdown, Cayanan is also busy doing online business to have some income while waiting for the MPBL to resume the playoffs.
"Wala naman po advice (si coach Beaujing Acot) pero nangangamusta naman po. Then nag-iisip ng kung ano puwede malinis na pagkakakitaan," said Cayanan.
Ranged against the back-to-back title-seeking Knights, Cayanan remains upbeat of the Super Crunch's chances of making it to the regional league's biggest stage.
Makati, which finished the regular season with a 22-8 record in third place, first defeated No. 6 Bulacan Kuyas in best-of-three quarterfinals to rebound from its painful setback from the hands of the Quezon City Capitals in last season's Datu Cup quarterfinals.
"Lahat naman po pag nasa ganoong sitwasyon ka na, iga-grab at iga-grab natin na maabot at makuha ang champion. Kase minsan lang din naman dumating at nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon maabot po yun. Kaya kailangang ibuhos at itodo muna kung anung meron ka," said Cayanan.
Given a chance, Cayanan has a goal of playing in the next level like the PBA D-League, and if things go well, the holy grail called PBA.
"Lahat naman po ng nasa mababang player, gusto umangat at makatungtong sa PBA po eh. Siguro yung kung ibibigay naman siguro ni God iyun, para sa iyo talaga," said Cayanan.