A WISE man once said that the journey to a thousand miles begins with a single step, but San Beda College’s Javee Mocon is taking huge strides in achieving his own journey towards making it to the top of the basketball firmament—as a professional baller for the Philippine Basketball Association.
With only two playing years left, the 22-year-old Marketing Management student is focused on playing his best basketball in Season 93 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which unfolds July 8.
“Two years na lang, puwede na akong magpa-draft,” Javee said, his eyes lighting up in anticipation.
Javee’s foreseeable future as a PBA player seemed set in stone, if one considers his basketball resume so far.
Formerly known as a hard-nosed defender, Javee has evolved into a reliable scorer and rebounder. Last season, for instance, Javee averaged in double figures and was instrumental in keeping the Red Lions in even keel against the Arellano Chiefs in the finals, which San Beda won.
His performance during the entire season didn’t escape the notice of the members of the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps, who named him to the Mythical Five.
But Javee didn’t stop there. In the PBA D-League finals last April, he played monster basketball, finishing with 25 points and seven rebounds to lead Cignal to the title past Racal. He was later named as Best Player of the Conference.
Javee brought his stellar performance in the pre-season Filoil-Flying V tournament, where he, along with high-scoring teammate Robert Bolick, led the Red Lions to the crown at the expense of the La Salle Green Archers.
In the coming NCAA season, Javee is again tipped to be a key component in coach Boyet Fernandez’s rotation, as the Lions embark on another journey to the championship.
But Javee is far from satisfied of his past performance. He knows there’s plenty of room for improvement, not only for the Red Lions’ sake, but because he wants to be better as he inches closer to his dream.
“Marami pa akong gusting ma-improve, especially ‘yung ball handling and playmaking skills ko. Basically kasi, defensive player ako pero gusto ko ring matutunan kung paano magdala ng team,” he said.
Javee already has a template in mind in reinventing himself as a playmaker—he looks up to Jayson Castro in the PBA and Chris Paul (now with the Houston Rockets) in the NBA. He also admires former Arellano University playmaker Jio Jalalon, now with Star in the PBA.
But as a power-forward, Javee says his models are Ranidel De Ocampo of TNT and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.
“Pareho silang mautak maglaro. Umiiskor kung kailangang umiskor. Magaling sa depensa pareho,” he said.
And if ever Javee makes it to the PBA (which basketball pundits say is a sure thing), he will soon get to play against and alongside former Red Lions Arthur dela Cruz, Semerad brothers David and Anthony, JP Mendoza, among others and fulfill his wish to play for his favorite Alaska team.
“Ibang klase ang Alaska. Maganda ang sistema, tulungan,” he said.
Javee has indeed come a long away from the scrawny kid who used to watch his elder brothers play basketball, to today’s determined and highly-reliable scorer and defender.
“Dati nanonood lang ako sa mga kuya ko naglalaro. Hanggang sa natuto na ako. Halos araw-araw na akong naglalaro,” said Javee, who later joined his high school varsity team in San Beda-Taytay.
Javee knows he still has a lot to prove and bigger mountains to climb, but with his talent, determination and hard work, his journey will soon lead him to the pinnacle of basketball—and beyond.