Aug 05, 2020

PBA disruption spoils ideal rookie season for Doliquez

A reunion with a college teammate and a chance to play alongside his PBA idol.

Everything seemed perfectly set-up for Clint Doliguez's rookie season with Rain or Shine until the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Now the former San Beda stalwart is keeping his fingers crossed the league will be able to restart the season in the final quarter of the year, or just wait for the 2021 playing calendar to unfold altogether.

Until the season was indefinitely shut down with the outbreak of the pandemic, Doliguez was looking forward of playing together with Javee Mocon and Gabe Norwood at Rain or Shine.

"Masarap kasi kakampi si Mocon," he said of his one-time Red Lion teammate, with who he won back-to-back NCAA men's basketball championship.

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"Kaya masaya ako na teammate pa rin kami kahit nasa PBA na."

And then there's the 35-year-old Norwood, a true-blue Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, who Doliguez idolizes.

As one of the veterans in the team, Norwood always makes it a point to share some words of wisdom as he tries to guide the Elasto Painters' platoon of rookies that include Doliguez, Adrian Wong, Vince Tolentino, and Prince Rivero.

"Sobrang gaan niya (Norwood) kasama sa court. Laging nagre-remind at nag-a-advise sa aming mga rookie sa team," said the small forward, who was picked in the first round of the 2019 regular draft by Rain or Shine.

Looking up to Norwood, it is but natural for Doliguez to also pattern his play after the soft-spoken Fil-Am guard known for his defensive prowess.

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"Nagpo-focus ako sa defensive skills ko, kung paano dumipensa ng maayos," he said.

It's no co-incidence that the greatest advice he ever got from a former coach of his has something to do too, with defense.

"You have the right to shoot as long na dumipensa ka," recalled Doliguez. (RG)