Jan 22, 2021

James Laput can't wait to play against June Mar

JAMES Laput listed his height in the PBA rookie application form at 6-foot-10.

His size alone certainly makes him a potential first-round pick in the coming Draft set on March 14.

But Laput swears it's no big deal if his name is not called in the first round.

"Honestly, I wouldn't be disappointed," he said.

"At the end of the day, the Draft, the order, the number, the round, they're just numbers. What a lot of people see and what a lot of athletes forget is that just simply being a part of the Draft and being drafted is a huge success itself. You say it all the time."

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Laput named a few NBA players who rose from stardom even though they were not selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.

"If I ain't got drafted in the Top 5, 10 or first round, or even the second round, as long as I get the opportunity, I'll be so content, so grateful, knowing that the door is open, God has made a way.

"So, it's up to me whether I take my foot forward through that door or not. When that happens on March 14, we'll see how it goes," Laput said.

Laput said it would be a great honor if he would be picked by San Miguel Beer but he hopes it does not happen, but for a specific reason that is.

"My idol is June Mar [Fajardo] and I want to play against him. That has been my dream. It's like Kobe (Bryant) wanting to play against MJ (Michael Jordan). I want to do that. I want to battle June Mar. So I just hope I won't be drafted by the team where Jun Mar plays. But of course, getting drafted by SMB is a blessing," explained the Fil-Australian.

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Laput, who suffered a spine injury that shortened his stint with the La Salle Archers and threatened his playing career, said he hopes the team which would draft him would utilize his full potential.

"I just wanted to be with a team that sorely needs a big man... maybe a team like Meralco or Magnolia. I think it would be fun to be able to play with those teams and learn from the veterans, and at the same time do what I need to do to help the team," said Laput. (RJ)