University of Perpetual Help System DALTA junior basketball team standout Lebron Jhames Daep may be named after NBA superstar Lebron James, but the budding cager has a different idol: Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The 17-year-old high-flyer revealed he has looked up to the Milwaukee Bucks star as evident in his jersey number 34 with the Junior Altas, the same number as Antetokounmpo.
"Si Giannis," Daep said when asked who his idol is. "Wala akong masyadong idol dito eh."
[Giannis... I don't really have a lot of idols here.]
And just like his favorite player, Daep poured in MVP-like numbers in Perpetual's 89-75 victory in NCAA Season 99 debut against Lyceum of the Philippines University last Saturday.
The 6-foot-7 Daep churned out a game-high 22 points highlighted by a two-handed putback slam in the third quarter alongside five rebounds, four assists, and one block in just 28 minutes on the court.
But while he patterns his game to Antetokounmpo's, Daep shared one of the main factors for his growth as a player is having his first idol — his father, Rommel — by his side in his basketball journey.
Rommel is a fixture in the NCAA, having helped San Sebastian College-Recoletos complete a remarkable five-peat championship from 1993 and 1997 alongside former teammates Rommel Adducul and Topex Robinson. Currently, Rommel is also serving as one of Perpetual Junior Altas' assistant coaches who specializes in helping their big men.
"Susuportahan niya ako lagi kung saan man ako mapunta kasi sabi niya nga sa akin, wala naman siya palagi sa tabi ko kaya hangga’t nandito siya, patuloy niya akong ginagabayan," the 6-foot-7 Daep said.
[He always supports me wherever I go because as he said, he won't always be beside me so while he's here, he'll keep guiding me.]
—JMB, GMA Integrated News