CHILL. Sidney Onwubere is adamant that he has already matured – matured enough to lead widely-regarded darkhorse EAC.
A year ago, Sidney Onwubere was supposed to win his first NCAA Seniors award.
After a season that saw him average 14.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks, he was more than deserving to have been part of the Defensive Team.
Onwubere didn’t make it in the end, however, as his ejection in a game against San Sebastian College-Recoletos disqualified him from contention.
And that, that became the lesson the now 23-year-old has learned in the hardest way there is. “Last year, I was supposed to be part of the defensive team, but I didn’t get it because na-thrown out ako. Kaya ngayon, yun yung inaalala ko lagi,” he shared.
He then continued, “Inaalala kong sayang yung mga opportunity kung ganun lang gagawin ko.”
In the eyes of his mentor, that kind of decision-making is also the area where he has most room for improvement.
For all the double-doubles he can rack up, there is one statistic Onwubere cannot keep on hauling in – technical fouls. “Actually, I always have to remind him na hindi siya dapat mawawala sa focus. Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanya na if he wants to play in the PBA, kailangan yung mental toughness niya, hindi nawawala,” Generals head coach Ariel Sison said.
Fortunately for the faithful over in UN Avenue, the EAC main man is as receptive as ever. As Sison put it, “Alam mo naman yang batang yan, sasagot lang na, ‘Yes, coach!’ Nasa kanya na kung paano niya dadalhin yun.”
He then continued, “Pero hopefully, mag-mature na talaga siya. Yun na lang naman kailangan sa kanya e – maturity.”
That statement rings even truer now Onwubere is the captain of the Generals.
In terms of skill and standing, Sison is nothing but sure that his boys will be following their rightful leader. “Si Sid, naglaro na ng (PBA) D-League yan, iba yung tingin sa kanya. Alam mo naman, kung nakalaro ka na ng mataas na liga, yung teammates mo, rerespetuhin ka lalo,” he expressed.
And for Onwubere himself, there is no better time than now to prove himself as well as his coach correct. As he put it, “Hopefully, handa na talaga ako. Nandyan din naman yung tulong ng teammates ko.”
He also added, “Kailangan ko na rin talaga mag-step up kasi last year ko na. Hindi na pwedeng hindi pa rin ako ready kasi wala nang next year para maging ready.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.
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