The Silent Operator: Bataan’s Pamboy Raymundo
Pamboy Raymundo is leading the Risers in scoring with 13.3 points per game aside from norming 5.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds per match).Bataan Risers
MANILA, Philippines – After Bataan Risers center Jeepy Faundo won the opening tip, the ball was swung toward teammate John Murphy “Pamboy” Raymundo.
Ten seconds in and with the Quezon City Capitals Alwyn Alday sagging off him, Raymundo fired a triple with no hesitation. Bang. Three-zero, Risers.
Raymundo finished with nine points, seven assists, four rebounds and one steal against two turnovers in Bataan’s 101-68 win.
His teammates — Gary David (21 points), Faundo (12 points), and Vince Tolentino and JJ Alejandro (10 points each) — led the way in terms of scoring and more importantly, for the win.
And Raymundo is fine if the others get the glory. He is used to playing — what — fourth, fifth or sixth fiddle in a finely tuned basketball orchestra.
When he was winning championships with the San Sebastian Golden Stags in the NCAA, there was Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual, who got all the props. Coming into the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, there was Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes.
Raymundo would hit the three, drive for a death-defying lay-up, or even put the clamps on the opposing guard, but the glory would always go to others. He has always played behind all-stars and superstars, but he was always the key.
“Okay lang yun,” he said. “Ang importante ay nananalo. At makakuha ng championship.”
And he adds after a moment’s thought…. “At gawin mo yung best mo kasi buhay mo yung paglaro ng basketbol. Hindi naman panghabang buhay yan. So hangga’t kaya — laban lang.”
Raymundo is quietly (he is leading the Risers in scoring with 13.3 points per game aside from norming 5.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds per match) one of this generation’s winners or lucky charms in the vein of the late Cris “Jumbo” Bolado or Larry Fonacier to name a few. They win wherever they go.
And Pamboy has won with San Sebastian, the TNT KaTropa, Alab Pilipinas and Cignal to name but a few. Now, he has turned his eye to bagging a Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League crown with Bataan.
“Hindi ako nagre-rely sa reputasyon,” he dispels of whatever good luck charm that is hung on him. “Kailangan mo itrabaho yun. Siyempre, nagpapasalamat ako na gusto ako kunin ng teams kasi alam nila na kaya ko naman.”
But do not for one minute think that he doesn’t mind moving around. He does. He wishes he was with one team. Moving around sometimes gives the impression that one is expendable.
Of course, that isn’t necessarily so. There are other factors. “Alam naman natin iba yung kalakaran sa pro,” pointed out Raymundo. “So sanayan lang at ang importante yung attitude mo sa paglaro. Dapat tuloy tuloy at lagi ka aangat sa sitwasyon.”
When it is pointed out that Bataan has never had representation in any pro league, he smiled. In some ways, playing for the Risers is playing for all the unnoticed. Like Bataan itself — historic, important and proud — there is much to look forward to.
‘Sakto lang ako sa Bataan,” he surmised. “At nag-eenjoy ako. Okay din i-represent ang mga tao doon. At lalo na okay rin mga teammates ko. Isa lang ang commitment namin na ma-represent yung Bataan at yung team na maayos at nakaka-proud.”