By Peter Atencio
Korean ballclubs are expected to seek out more Filipino players once the collegiate basketball season is over.
And the next Filipino cagers most likely to join club teams in the Korean Basketball League are Adamson University Falcon Jerom Lastimosa, Ateneo’s Dave Ildefonso and University of Santo Tomas Growling Tiger Nic Cabanero.
According to Korean basketball community sources, there is one club that is now reportedly reaching out to Lastimosa, now that his stint in season 85 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball tournament, has ended.
The team mentioned is KBL finalist Jeonju KCC Egis, which has 6’7” Ra Gun Ah in its roster, together with Lee Seung Hyun, a member of the Korean national team.
Jeonju was last season’s KBL runner-up.
Another club, Suwon KT Sonicboom is waiting for Ildefonso’s time with Ateneo Blue Eagles to be over before entering into talks with him.
Sonicboom reached the semifinals in the regular KBL season this year.
As for Cabanero, scouts have noted his versatility. But there is no confirmed ballclub seeking him out, at the moment.
Reports say that Filipino import Christian David will not be playing because of a knee injury. His team Samsung will decide this week if they will look for a new reinforcement.
So far, Ildefonso has expressed his openness to skip the Philippine Basketball Association rookie draft next season to play for a club team, either in Korea or Japan.
Lastimosa caught the attention of teams in the KBL after he averaged 14.8 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Falcons.
His performance put the Falcons in the Final Four, impressing scouts even though the Falcons eventually bowed to the Blue Eagles, 60-81.
While Lastimosa still has one more year of eligibility left, he remains quiet about his next plans.
So far, the KBL has three collegiate players doing well, namely Rhenz Abando with Anyang KGC, Ulsan’s RJ Abarrientos and LG’s Justin Gutang.