His road to glory was hard and long.
Yousif Aljamal, a transferee from San Sebastian College Recoletos, stepped into the Lion’s Den one fateful day 5 years ago. He struggled with San Beda during the gloomy days of its title drought in the early 21st century. Wow I speak of it like it is ancient history! Well, apparently it is. Aljamal has seen San Beda through those heartbreak years. And through the glory days as well. Back in 2004, when the Red Lions reentered the Final Four for the first time in 7 years under Coach Nash Racela. And the climactic end of his NCAA career when he fueled the Red Lions to its first set of back to back titles in 28 years.
As the 32nd season of the PBA opens next week, the Bedan faithful are truly excited with the entry of one of its notable alumni into the professional ranks. San Beda has always given way to other UAAP teams by being generous of “entrusting” their junior standouts from the Red Cubs to lead their UAAP counterparts to several championships. Names like Paras, Magsanoc, Ritualo, Casio, Tenorio come to mind. But now, San Beda has one of its homegrown talents in the big stage, in the person of Aljamal. A kindhearted, no-nonsense player and matinee idol good looks to boot!
Now, the PBA will thank its lucky stars for reactivating the long dormant San Beda crowd in terms of attendance in PBA games. Luring this fanatic base back into its fold may perhaps be the best marketing strategy they have been looking for in years. And from the looks of it, the entry of Aljamal has opened the doors for his other teammates to join him in the years to come. Who knows, we might even see an all San Beda five running the court, perhaps wearing Blue and Yellow in the PBA?
The future looks bright for Aljamal… and San Beda! Move up King Red Lion! We’re behind you all the way!