Adam Doria wasn’t alone the moment he found out he made it to the SLAM Rising Stars Classic. Beside him was fellow SLAM Rising Star and teammate in the Adamson Baby Falcons, Joem Sabandal.
Joem sent me a selfie of him and Adam the moment it happened. He looked calm, as if he was just going through the motions with one of his closest teammates. Deep inside, however, was joy he couldn’t exactly comprehend in that moment.
“Medyo nashock po, di ko naman aakalain mapipili ako rito,” said Adam. “Parang nagtthank ako sa sarili ko, kasi sa lahat ng pinaghirapan ko, may nagbunga.”
It’s become a cliche to always talk about how one had to go through the toughest of situations to get to where they are, but for him, it couldn’t be more true. The past three years have been a roller coaster for him, for better or for worse. It was Adam’s values that helped him get through the ups and downs of the past few seasons.
Loyalty was important to him. He was part of the Season 79 Baby Falcons team that was subject to plenty of controversy. While Encho Serrano, Coach Goldwin Monteverde, Gerry Abadiano, among others got most of the press, Adam was stuck in the back ground. He was struggling as much as anyone in the team. When push came to shove, he had to make a choice. Go with his coach, like his teammates did, or stay in Adamson?
It was a difficult choice to make, but Adam already knew the route he was going towards. “Nung nakita ko na mas maganda yung opportunity dito sa Adamson, grinab ko na,” shared Adam. “At least yung loyalty ko hindi nawala.”
It was a leap of faith, that’s for sure. But Adam knew he was doing this for a reason. Helping him out throughout this process was not only Sabandal, one of his closest teammates, but also his twin brother, Andrey. Which brings us to the second value he’s held on to: brotherhood.
From being a bench player with the Season 79 Baby Falcons, he was immediately expected to take on a larger role under Coach Mike Fermin. He could have folded under the pressure, but he kept moving forward. Beside him were his brothers for life, Andrey and Joem, who pushed each other to become better on a daily basis.
Among those three, only Joem and Adam will be in the Rising Stars Classic. It’s easy to imagine Andrey feeling left out and jealous at his brother’s success. That isn’t the case at all. One’s success is the other’s as well. Adam couldn’t have succeeded without his brother Andrey challenging him in practice, and at home, every single day.
After the Rising Stars Classic, Adam will be making the leap to collegiate basketball with the Adamson Soaring Falcons. It’s a different challenge once more, with the stakes getting higher as time passes by.
The challenges get tougher, but Adam will continue to rise through them.
The SLAM Rising Stars Classic will be held on March 31, 7PM to 9PM, at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. The game will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports via livestream.