THROUGHOUT his playing career, RK Ilagan has relished the role of an underdog.
Barely standing 5-foot-7, the small but deadly guard from San Sebastian was able to overcome the odds by playing all out every game.
"Simula naman nung naglalaro ako ng basketball, underdog na talaga ako. Yun naman ang tinitingnan nila sa akin, kasi maliit nga ako. Kumbaga hindi ko kakayanin. Pero maraming tumutulong sa akin eh. Tinuturuan ako, pinalalakas yung katawan ko. Pero motivation ito sa akin para I-prove na kaya ko," Ilagan told PBA.ph.
The hardworking guard will be among the 97 aspirants in the coming PBA Draft hoping to secure a spot in any of the league's 12-member teams.
And he knows his chances are not encouraging considering this year's draft class is perhaps the deepest in the history of the PBA.
Making things a lot tougher is the bumper cast of guards who are included in the pool.
"Nagdalawang isip rin ako kasi ang daming guards na pumasok like Philip Manalang, Aljun Melecio, and even Jerie Pinggoy. Pero naisipan ko rin na pumasok na kasi nga yung liga sa NCAA hindi sigurado kung matutuloy eh. Kaya humingi ako ng advice sa parents ko kung anong puwedeng gawin. Sinabihan nila ako kung may opportunity I-grab ko na rin," he added.
Despite his size, Ilagan made the headlines while playing as a member of the San Sebastian Stags that made it to the Final Four of the NCAA in 2017.
A known dead shot from beyond the arc and a streak shooter, Ilagan's hopes his shooting prowess will take him to his dream destination.
"Na-overcome ko yung part na minamaliit ako sa tulong ng pamilya ko. Sila yung parating nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas ng loob. Lagi nila akong binibigyan ng advice na huwag mawalaan ng pagasa. Kaya motivated ako," added Ilagan. (RJ)