Ilonggo cager selected as 2020 SLAM Philippines Rising Star

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Another pride for Iloilo City after an Ilonggo cager who currently plays for Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) was recognized as part of the 2020 SLAM Philippines Rising Stars, a list of the top high school basketball players in the country. 

Ian Dominic Espinosa, a former mainstay of Ateneo de Iloilo, was hailed as SLAM's rising star, along with his ADMU teammates, Joshua Lazaro, Forthsky Padrigao, and Francis Lopez. 

All four student-athletes were part of the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets team that competed in the UAAP Season 82 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

"First of all, I’m thankful and blessed to be recognized as one of the rising stars because this reminds me that my hard work matters and when I first arrived in Ateneo with the environment being so different and the studies including subjects and topics were very difficult for me. I had to persevere my way through Junior high school and it wouldn't have been possible without my peers," Espinosa said.

To recall, Espinosa was included in the Jr. NBA All-Stars team during the selection of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2017 in Pasay City.

Before making a name in the national scene, Espinosa also shined in various local competitions such as Private Schools Sports Association (PRISAA), Milo games, among others. 

For his former coach Jophil Cercado, he said, Espinosa really improve from his AdI stint to his current team now. 

"Sang diri sa Ateneo de Iloilo, he is a good leader, and a director of our team, that's why we won back-to-back in Milo Best Center. Now kahit nasa ADMU na siya same man nga leadership ang dala niya. Pinagkaiba niya na subong nag mature and nagtaas na gid level ka game niya kay exposed na gid sa because mataas ang level sang training and competition sa Manila," Cercado added. 

Now that he was featured as a rising star, Espinosa said everything he had experienced has taught him lessons on how to be better everyday. 

"I would also want to thank all the people who believed in me that I could push through especially my family, my coaches in Ateneo de Iloilo and Ateneo de Manila University, my friends, my teammate’s parents and most importantly God for guiding me in the right path and motivating me to be a better person and to work hard to reach my dreams. This blessing graced to me by Lord will be used to be an inspiration to reach my other dreams in the future as well," he shared.IMT

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