LESSONS LEARNED. Laurente makes the most of out of this season after his punishment-filled run last year. Photo by PJ Estan.
CEBU CITY, Philippines - From being the league’s bad boy to the 2017 CESAFI junior basketball MVP, the transformation of University of Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers Beirn Anthony Laurente can’t get any better.
The point guard and shooting guard admitted that he did not expect to get the prestigious honor because in their team alone, there were many who were also good and all useful to the team. Nevertheless, he was happy he got the award.
“Lipay kaayu kay mao na ako pangandoy sukad pag sulod nako sa UV. Nya dugay nana nako gepangayu sa Ginoo, taga gabie ko mag-ampo na ma MVP ko.” (I am very happy because I have always aspired for that since I joined UV. I asked that from God for so long, every night I pray that I become the MVP.)
His mother who was in town to watch and support him during the finals said she was very happy for her son as this was his ambition since he was 3 years old.
Prior to this season, Laurente had a reputation for his physical game on court and for being a troublemaker. However, it all came to head last season when he was thrown out from two games, incurred a total penalty of P15,000, and was made to do a total of 12 hours community service.
In the CESAFI, any player who is thrown out of the game will not only be suspended for one game but he will also have to pay a penalty and do community service. First offense would entail the player a P5,000 fine and 4 hours of community service. A second offense would double the penalty and the hours of serving the community, while a third would get a player banned from CESAFI. The rules are strict to deter recidivism among players.
However, it had to happen twice before Laurente realized things.
Laurente was thrown out the first time during a pre-CESAFI season game wherein he hit Don Bosco Greywolves’ Ken Gato with the ball. UV paid for the penalty and Laurente was tasked to clean a gym in one of the Cebu City barangays for four hours.
It apparently was not enough to jolt Laurente as he was again thrown out of the ballgame, this time during the season, when he hit University of Cebu Junior Webmasters’ John Bryl Cuyos in the face. UV then split the P10,000 penalty fee with Laurente so the cager had to shell out P5,000 and was tasked to do 8 hours of community service.
He managed to split the 8 hours—4 hours of cleaning and the remaining four hours of teaching basketball under the Cebu City Sports Commission grassroots program. League officials hoped he sees the wisdom of sharing his talent to young ones.
Following that second punishment, Laurente realized that being a hot head on court wasn’t worth it.
“Ako bad boy sa court, di ko ganahan mawala na nako kay mao na ako gusto, play physical ba, nya sukad atong naka community service ko kaduha kay kaduha man ko nakasa, didto rako natagam nga di man jud lalim.” (I am a bad boy on the court, I didn’t want to lose that tag because it is what I want, to play physical, but ever since I was made to do community service twice because I committed a mistake twice, I got discouraged because it is not really easy.)
There is a reason why Laurente resorts to playing physical. He said basketball is his outlet for his anger.
“Basketball, ara ra nako ma-ipagawas ako kalagot, og naa man gani ko problema dira nako masulbad kay para sa ako basketball is my life man.” (It is through basketball that I can let my anger out, if ever I have a problem, I solve it by playing basketball because basketball for me is life.)
But after serving his punishments, Laurente said he will still play hard on court but he now knows better than to let his anger get the best of him in a game.
Laurente started playing for the UV Baby Lancers since he was in 9th grade four years ago.
His older brother, who plays in a varsity league in Palompon, Leyte, was the one who influenced him to play basketball.
Laurente said he was a native of Baybay, also in Leyte. He grew up in Palompon before his family decided to return permanently to Baybay.
He was a student at the Franciscan College of Immaculate Conception when he signed up for a UV basketball clinic in their school in 2013. It was there that he was spotted by UV scouting coach Van Halen Parmis, also a native of Baybay. Laurente was asked to try out, then was accepted to UV’s junior team.
However, his mother wanted him to play with UV’s passerelle first as he was still in the 8th grade. He played passarelle for a for a year before he moving up to the UV Baby Lancers.
Now that he is an MVP, his biggest achievement in the sport so far, Laurente said he still feels the same about himself.
“Ako na feel sa ako sarili kay mao ra gehapon sauna, nya humble gehapon bisag unsa pa imo naabtan.” (I feel the same way as I felt before, and I should stay humble no matter my achievements.)
Safe to say that with his incredible transformation, there’s more to look forward from Laurente who like any young basketball player hopes to someday play in the PBA. – Rappler.com