IT took a bible preaching group for Reymark Acuno to realize his potential of becoming a basketball player.
He was a fourth year high school in Tubod, Lanao Del Norte when a pastor by the name of Orlando Guilayan told him about his talent in playing the game.
"Members sila ng Bible Baptist Church na nagpupunta sa school namin. Tapos nakita nila ako, sabi nila may chance daw akong maglaro sa colleges sa Manila or Cebu," recalled the 6-foot-7 player.
Although hesitant at first, Acuno, 26, would later boost his self-confidence after being recruited for Southwestern University by coach Mike Reyes, brother of former Gilas mentor and now TnT Tropang Giga coach Chot Reyes.
In Cebu, he got to play with SWU star Ben MBala during his early years, while he began idolizing another Cebuano icon in June Mar Fajardo, who by then was beginning to make a name for himself in the PBA.
Soon after, he transferred to University of the East and suited up in the UAAP, a stint that led to other opportunities like playing in the PBA D-League (Gamboa) and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) with the Manila Stars.
Now, he's taking his career to the summit of Philippine basketball as he applies for the coming rookie draft, one of the huge 97 applicants who made themselves available for the virtual March 14 proceedings.
Acuno admitted playing in the pro league was a dream of his late grandmother.
"Wala na siya ngayon, pero itutuloy ko pa rin yung pangarap niya," he said.
At the same time, he looks at playing in the pro level as his way of financially helping his family in the province.
"Gusto kong matulungan yung pamilya ko kasi sobrang hirap ng buhay," said Acuno, stressing life has become even more difficult at this time of the pandemic.
"At least malaking tulong yun sa mga magulang ko," he added if and when he'll be able to play in the PBA.
And he's counting on those bible preaching group to pray for him come draft day. (RG)