By Jan Carlo Anolin
Former University of Santo Tomas guard Renzo Subido feels welcomed at the NorthPort Batang Pier coming into the PBA.
But the backcourt rookie faces a tall order – literally and figuratively – entering his first year in the league.
Despite the impending challenges, with PBA guards standing 6 feet or more, the 5-foot-9 Subido had a swift transition thanks to the ‘Thomasian connection’ and familiar faces in Kevin Ferrer, his former UAAP teammate, and coach Pido Jarencio, former mentor of the Growling Tigers for eight years.
“Okay naman si Renzo kasi ‘di naman siya bago sa sistema ni coach Pido,” Ferrer said. “Adjustment niya lang is how to play in the PBA talaga.”
The two UST stalwarts were in the same squad during the 77th and 78th UAAP seasons under coach Bong dela Cruz, who took over after Jarencio accepted coaching duties with then GlobalPort in 2014.
Transition may not be a problem, but Subido will be confronted by the grind and level of physicality in the PBA.
“Sa team, ‘di naman ako nahirapan mag-adjust kasi coach Pido is there, si Kevin is there to guide me,” Subido said. “Marami akong natutunan sa kanila, especially sa system ni coach Pido.”
Mixing it up with the big boys may be another matter though.
Subido left a remarkable final year by making clutch shots during UAAP Season 82, especially the go-ahead triple he sank with 23.6 seconds left to lift the Tigers past University of the Philippines in the stepladder semifinals.
Subido ended his collegiate career averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds.
“Ngayon, I’m still adjusting sa kind of basketball here in the PBA,” the 23-year-old guard said. “I’m against bigger guys and bigger guards. I just have to outwork them.”
Subido, who signed a one-year deal with the Batang Pier, will be joining NorthPort’s backcourt with newly-acquired guard LA Revilla from Phoenix, Nico Elorde, Paolo Taha and Robert Bolick, who is sitting out due to an ACL injury.
That could present another challenge right there, having to wait in line to get his feet wet.