Peter Alfaro ready to dedicate life's work to PBA coming off international stint

At a glance

  • Zamboanga Valientes point guard Peter Alfaro is heading to the PBA Season 49 Draft armed to the teeth carrying the invaluable lessons he learned from competing at The Asian Tournament.

Zamboanga Valientes point guard Peter Alfaro is heading to the PBA Season 49 Draft armed to the teeth carrying the invaluable lessons he learned from competing at The Asian Tournament.

Peter Alfaro photo by TAT.jpg
 Peter Alfaro (The Asian Tournament)

Since joining his hometown ball club Zamboanga Valientes last April, the 5-foot-11 floor general from San Beda has been hard at work, competing against some of the best players in the region as he looked to elevate his game further and inch closer to his PBA dream.

Following a championship run with the Red Lions at NCAA Season 99 last year, Alfaro felt that the best way to prepare for the upcoming draft was to suit up for the Zamboanga Valientes at The Asian Tournament, mainly because of the competitive playing field.

"I didn't get to compete much against big players since foreign student-athletes were no longer allowed in the NCAA. My family with the help of Danny Espiritu, decided that it was the best route for me towards the PBA because of the high-level competition," he explained.

There, the 25-year-old playmaker had the opportunity to go up against the likes of former PBA star Alex Cabagnot, veteran internationalist Sam Deguara, former Arkansas forward Jeantal Cylla, ex-Purdue guard Damian Chong Qui, former Fresno State guard Niven Hart, ex-NBA G League standout Xavier Alexander, and fellow PBA Draft hopeful Sedrick Barefield.

Despite taking on taller and more athletic opponents, Alfaro still found a way to average 11.9 points on 44 percent shooting, 4.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game in just 24 minutes of play as the Valientes’ lead guard in the past three legs.

"It's a great experience for me because I've learned to play with and against bigger players, especially athletic and big guards here at The Asian Tournament. I think I did pretty well against them," said Alfaro.

But more importantly for Alfaro, his stint at The Asian Tournament allowed him to learn the ropes of Asia's first pay-for-play league with the help of teammates and PBA veterans Mike Tolomia and Rudy Lingganay, who have both taken him under their wing.

The former NCAA champion said that playing alongside both Tolomia, a scorer, and Lingganay, a skilled playmaker, provided him with a well-rounded understanding of different aspects of the game, which he believes will be beneficial in the long run.

"It was an important experience because Tolomia and Lingganay are different players. Tolomia is more of a scorer and a slasher, while Lingganay is more of a stabilizer and also very good at executing plays," shared Alfaro, who suited up for TNT in the PBA on Tour last year.

"Coming to this PBA draft, of course, in each practice, in each game, I gain a lot of learnings from them, especially the small details. They always remind me that as a point guard, you have to execute and also make shots when you're open. So I think that's a confidence booster for me," he added.

After seeing the strides that Alfaro made since they became teammates, Tolomia is convinced that his understudy is primed to make the leap to the big leagues.

"Peter is ready for the PBA. He's a good combo guard who can defend well and pressure the ball. He's also a good leader on and off the court. I think those are the qualities a player needs to reach the PBA. It's also a bonus that he's a high IQ player who can fit well with the teams in the league," Tolomia said.

Not only in Zamboanga did Alfaro have the opportunity to pick the brains of two established point guards, but he also had the chance to glean insights from NCAA champion coaches Boyet Fernandez and Yuri Escueta, who both played the same position during their respective playing careers, back in his time with San Beda.

"So I just pick up whatever I can from their brains in each practice, each game, and I think the lessons and skills I've gained are very valuable, especially with pick and rolls, learning how to stabilize the team with coach Boyet, and how to be a leader on the court with coach Yuri. Those kinds of skills I think are very valuable coming into the draft this year," said Alfaro.

But his biggest influence, who also happens to be his main motivation in realizing his PBA dream, will always be his father Pedro, who is considered one of the league’s first players after suiting up for CFC Presto during the 1976 season.

"It’s been my motivation since I was a kid. Ever since I was young, I promised my dad, 'Pa, you'll have another child who will step into the PBA.' So from grade school, high school, college, and now in my pro career, my dad has always been my motivation and inspiration," said Alfaro.

"Hopefully, through God’s will, I'll be drafted and end up on a team that wants and needs me. Hopefully, they can allow me to play and help the team win."

Zamboanga Valientes owner Junie Navarro, who personally recruited Alfaro to be part of his team, believes that his prized guard has exceeded expectations in his stint at The Asian Tournament and that he will be a great asset to have in the PBA.

“I've seen firsthand the dedication and hard work of Peter. His time with the Valientes has proven that he is more than ready to play in the PBA. Any team would be lucky to have a guy like Peter on their side,” said Navarro.

“The entire Zamboanga is behind you, Peter! We are proud to have another Zamboangueño entering the PBA. Arriba Zamboangueños! Viva Valientes!”