by Brian Joseph N. Yalung
Leo Avenido made his mark in college with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and has had a colorful career ever since. He joined the Philippine Basketball Association in 2002 but made bigger strides playing in the Asean Basketball League.
Now at 38, Leo is fully aware that his playing days may soon come to a close. But before he finally hangs up his sneakers, the former “King Tamaraw” will try to follow the lead of his idol, Senator Robert Jaworski Jr.
“Di naman ako si Jawo pero gusto ko din pag-igihan kase eto na siguro yung transition ng basketball career ko papuntang coaching,” when MB Sports Online asked him about his player-coach role with Gamboa Coffee Mix in the PBA D-League.
Avenido debuted with a bang, lifting Gamboa over Zarks at the start of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup. He knocked in key free throws with 3.1 seconds to lift his team to an 85-84 thriller. Could there be more similar games ahead?
For Leo, he is unsure on up to when he will be serving the dual role. He is more concerned about focusing on the task given to him, something that is not easy.
“Di ko masabi kung kelan to at kelan ako maglalaro. I’m focusing at the present at di ko iniisip yung iba para di maguluhan sa dalawang task na binigay sa akin na akala ng iba ay madali.”
On future offers of playing ball, Avenido is aware that his chances of getting a call may not be as rampant as before. He knows his career is nearing its end and thus thankful for being given the chance to show his talent in the world of coaching.
On more possible coaching stints, here is what Avenido has to say:
“Di naman tayo ipokrito. Kung ano ibigay tanggap lang at trabaho lang na kailangan pagbutihan!”