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EMKAI-Rizal Xentro Mall veteran Kojack Melegrito couldn’t hold back his tears when asked about an emotional Facebook post he wrote prior to his Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational debut Sunday, December 12.
In the post, Melegrito discussed how elated he was to get his Games and Amusements Board (GAB) professional basketball license.
Turning pro was something the former Letran Knight had never done in his 11-year basketball career which spanned many inter-region and amateur-level leagues.
But on his very birthday, Melegrito hit two birds with one stone: he celebrated his special day, and fulfilled his mother’s long-time dream for him as a hoops player.
“Pangarap kasi talaga ng mommy ko na mag pro ako. Nag-try siya, nagpunta siya nang ibang bansa, so kailangan kong i-fulfill ‘yung pangarap ng nanay ko,” the emotional Melegrito shared candidly to reporters.
His mother would go great lengths for his son’s basketball dream, which of course included sending the 6-foot-3 forward to an established NCAA school.
“Hindi ko man nakuha dati, ngayon nakuha ko. Naiiyak ako kasi sobrang nakarating na ako (sa professional level),” Melegrito said.
The Golden Coolers beat the General Santos Warriors, 73-66 behind a 23-point, seven-assist performance from Andrian Celada, all the more making the day special for Melegrito.
“Special. Sabi nga ng mga teammate ko, ‘Kuya, para sa’yo ito kasi birthday mo’,” he added.
With a reputation for being a tough-as-nails enforcer on the floor, Melegrito now relishes a veteran leadership role with the Golden Coolers, hoping to motivate his younger teammates under head coach Rodney Santos.
“Dinadala ko lang ‘yung leadership ko sa depensa, maging role model sa mga bata kasi isa rin ako sa mga pinakamatanda (sa team),” he closed.
Not only is Melegrito contributing well for his team, he’s also doing it knowing he’s made his mother proud.
Photo from Chooks-to-Go MPBL