Former Cesafi juniors star Araw-Araw to play for USJ-R
Heady court general Arc Gabrielle Araw-Araw will finally get his long-awaited shot at playing big-time college ball as he is set to be included in the roster of the University of San Jose-Recoletos
Jaguars that will compete in the Visayas-Mindanao qualifiers of the 2015 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) next month at the Superdome in Ormoc.
The move was confirmed by none other than USJ-R head coach Jun Noel in a talk with Cebu Daily News on Wednesday morning.
“I will most definitely include him (Araw-Araw) in the lineup for the PCCL. As you saw in the Cesafi, I didn’t have a lot of point guards so I really need him in there,” shared the veteran coach of his new recruit who suited up for the Jaguars in the recently-concluded University Games in Bacolod City where USJ-R placed third in the basketball competition that was won by the NCAA’s St. Benilde Blazers.
Araw-Araw was once a dominant force at the high-school level and led the Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles to their first title in Cesafi history back in 2012. Along the way, the former San Beda Red Cub scooped up numerous accolades including Rookie of the Year and Mythical Five honors in the league.
Afterwards, Araw-Araw tried his luck at making the roster of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers. But after failing to do so, the 5-foot-7 guard returned home and enrolled at the University of San Carlos. According to Noel, he was supposed to be part of their Cesafi roster last season but missed the cut after failing to obtain his school records in time.
In an exclusive talk with CDN, Araw-Araw is relishing the opportunity to play college ball.
“It feels great to be back playing at this level. It has been three long years since I got to play at this level of competition and I thank God for this opportunity.”
Araw-Araw admitted that he had encountered a lot of trouble in his initial stint with the Jaguars in the UniGames but appreciated the encouragement he got from both coaches and teammates.
“I’m still absorbing and learning the system. To be honest, I had a few rough games sa UniGames but the coaches and my teammates kept on encouraging me and helping me learn from my mistakes,” Araw-Araw said.
Noel concurred with his ward’s assessment and said that the guard will be given every opportunity to succeed with the Jaguars.
“The minutes will be there. I will give him every opportunity to be out there on the floor and to learn the system. I didn’t mind the turnovers because he’s been away from this level of basketball for quite some time. He will grow and learn this system,” added the multi-titled head coach.
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