From Squire to Knight, Bong Quinto always fighting for the blue and red

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I GOT LOYALTY. Bong Quinto has proudly worn the blue and red for over five years now.

Bong Quinto was the Season MVP and the Rookie of the Year as centerpiece of the last Colegio de San Juan de Letran High School team that truly contended in the NCAA Juniors.

That makes Quinto, now into his fourth-year as a Knight in the NCAA Seniors, the last prized prospect out of Letran High.

And just like Mark Cruz, Kevin Racal, and Rey Nambatac, it was easy for the now 20-year-old to have chosen to stay in Intramuros. “Yung pagmamahal ko sa Letran, kaya kong ibuwis yung buhay ko kasi parang pinaglalaban ko na rin bansa mo e. Dito sa Letran ko nakuha yung mga break ko simula high school pa lang,” he said.

He then continued, “Kaya hanggang matapos ako, Letran pa rin ako.”

Easy to choose and even easier to keep wearing the blue and red for – even if it means getting out of his comfort zone. As Quinto put it, “Ako, wingman talaga ako, pero kailangan akong gamiting big man kasi yung malalaki namin, mga baguhan pa.”

Indeed, ever since Aldin Ayo’s turn at the helm in 2015, the six-foot-two forward has been used as a four-man more than the three position he had been used to.

Now, even greater challenges will be right up in his face as Letran plots its playoff return.

Acknowledging the fact that he is now one of the veteran leaders of the team, Quinto said, “Yung scoring, darating na lang yun e. Ngayon, kailangan ko na ring maging leader.”

He then continued, “Mas malaking responsibilidad kasi kailangan yung pagiging isip-bata, hindi na dapat lumabas sa akin. Kasi kapag ako na-frustrate, masasama na rin pati teammates ko.”

Fortunately, the burly forward had a much-needed crash course in leadership in the PBA D-League. “Malaking tulong yung naging experience ko dun kasi sa Tanduay, ako yung pinakabata. Marami akong natutunan sa mga teammates ko dun,” he shared.

Indeed, Quinto was surrounded by seasoned veterans like Jerwin Gaco, Paul Sanga, and former Letran teammate Mark Cruz with the Rhum Masters.

And just like he has ever since high school, Quinto will now take it upon himself to make sure the Knights keep on charging. “Yung mga natutunan ko dun, yun ang gusto ko dalhin dito. Kailangan maging leader na rin ako rito,” he expressed.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.



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