Before Paul Zamar makes his way back to the Philippines as part of the Blackwater Elite of the Philippine Basketball Association, he took the time to thank the team and country that welcomed him with open arms in the ASEAN Basketball League.
For the past six months, Zamar has been an integral part of the Mono Vampire Basketball Club’s campaign in the ABL. Despite a disappointing end to their season on Wednesday night following their defeat at the hands of San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, the Heritage Import was beyond grateful for the journey.
“I have to go back to Thailand to put closure with Mono Vampire, to give respect also. It’s not good if I just leave them,” Zamar humbly said after Game 5.
Beyond his time in the ABL, the Filipino-born player has been a staple in Thailand basketball, playing in both the Thailand Super Basketball League and Thailand Basketball League. There, he honed his skills as a basketball player and grew as an individual.
“I really learned a lot, especially on being independent,” the 30-year-old shared about his time in Thailand.
“I think it’s from being a boy to a man,” he added. “I really matured.”
Before his time in Thailand, Zamar struggled to fulfill his life-long dream to the PBA. He was initially drafted by a team back in 2012, but was left unsigned. He toiled away in the PBA’s Developmental League only to be still left out by a ball club in the Philippines.
The young guard could have called it quits on his professional basketball career. Instead, he found a new home in Thailand the past year. Through sheer hard work and determination, he was able to be part of Mono and join the ABL.
With the opportunity presented before him, Zamar was able to showcase his world-class skills. As Mono’s Heritage Import, he became an integral part of the team’s potent offense. He normed 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists. He was a proven marksman, knocking down 2.2 three-pointers a game.
In the recently concluded Finals against his home country, he was simply outstanding. He hit two clutch free throws in Game 2 and then followed it up with a dagger floater in Game 4. His stellar play in the ABL’s biggest stage turned heads particularly among PBA teams.
And now, after years of waiting, Zamar is on his way to making his PBA dream a reality thanks to his time in the ABL.
“I’m just gonna give my best to them like what I gave to Mono Vampire,” Zamar said about joining his new team in the Philippines. “Hopefully, it translates to wins. I’ll give my best to help the team.”
Zamar however isn’t closing the door on the possibility of him returning to the country that helped him develop the player he is now.
“I’ll play it by ear. If they don’t want me in the PBA after my contract, I’ll return (to Thailand). I want to win an ABL championship one day,” he stated.