I hate Dino Aldeguer.

But not in a personal way.

I spent my college years traveling from Fairview to Espana from 1998 to 2002. When I chose the school I would study, one factor I looked into is how nuts would be the championship celebration if they won the title. UST won four straight championships and I wanted to see Aric Del Rosario waving to the students with one of his boys showing off the UAAP basketball title.

Yup, I was one of the guys who cried when this guy pulled that clutch bomb.

And dammit, here's that blasted shot.

Had he just choked like what all UST diehards were hoping inside the arena or in front of the college lobbies or the ones drinking beer in Shakey’s Espana or the people watching the action in the comfort of their home… I would have finished college with a championship season. Sure, Jervy Cruz, Japs Cuan, Dylan Ababou, Jojo Duncil, and the rest of the Tigers had a title a couple of seasons later… but I wanted to smoke in the grandstand after playing Counterstrike for four hours knowing that my school is suffering from competition euphoria.

Yeah, 2002 is also the last year in which smoking inside the school premises is legal.


Like I said, I hate Dino Aldeguer… whenever he wears his green and white kits… squaring off for a three-point shot.


But then, I also follow basketball careers.

Aldeguer is not just a thorn in the UAAP as part of the DLSU Green Archers. He also made a lot of players question their capabilities as part of the Welcoat Paint Masters alongside DLSU mates Don Allado, Willy Wilson, Calijohn Orfrecio, and Renren Ritualo. Aldeguer had individual as well as team accolades playing for that team.

Aldeguer worked hard to become a sought-after PBA prospect.

Even if the 2000 PBA Draft is one of the unfortunate things to happen in the PBA, I thought Purefoods had it well by making the pass-first quarterback the third pick of that draft.

Dino Aldeguer should have had the career he had with the Negros Slashers when he played in the PBA. Purefoods had two aging PGs in Dindo Pumaren and Boyet Fernandez and they also had a couple of guards in Jessie Cabanayan and recent acquisition Noy Castillo.

At least they could have tried Aldeguer out.

Instead, Purefoods just waived their third pick.

The crazy thing here is that Noy Castillo is the only memorable player they acquired during that season. I know Purefoods had a good showing that year but that team had former DLSU players in the team (Pumaren) as well as in their coaching staff (Derrick Pumaren and Gee Abanilla).

Also, I never thought Aldeguer would falter as part of the Alaska Aces. After Purefoods waived their rights, Alaska swooped in to acquire the former PBL Mythical Teamer. Alaska is a team in need of youth. Jun Reyes is slowly transitioning to the assistant coach role and the team had a twinner in Rodney Santos and an old hand in Joey Loyzaga to play backup for Johnny Abarrientos. Alaska also drafted Don Allado a season prior… and if Alaska was grooming the former UAAP MVP to become one of their main men, the first order of business should have centered on the people who could make him better.

In some ways, Allado is also one of the players who could have had a better PBA career. Like Alvin Patrimonio, Allado entered the PBA in the middle of the season because of commitments. Unlike The Captain, Allado is more of an understudy to Bong Hawkins and Poch Juinio. Tim Cone also employed the battle-tested Triangle Offense system that is still bringing him championships at that point. Aldeguer and Allado could have been an awesome backcourt duo but I guess Aldeguer’s non-existent playing time prompted the guard to move to the MBA. Sure, he did well in some ways (Negros had John Ferriols, Johnedel Cardel, Reynel Hugnatan, and brothers Romy and Ruben Dela Rosa) but Aldeguer could have had a say if he just waited for his time in Alaska with Abarrientos eventually moving to Pop Cola for Jon Ordonio. If Dino Aldeguer stayed in Alaska, there’s a chance that he’ll probably get cut with the eventual entry of Mike Cortez. But then again, maybe if he did well, then Alaska would choose another player.

I bet we’re looking for reasons to make Romel Adducul’s PBA career a bit more awesome here. Just imagine a DLSU/Welcoat version of Aldeguer with Adducul and Allado as their frontline. Alaska traded their tenth pick in the 2003 Draft to get Don Camaso.

Either they could have continued with that trade or they could have kept the pick... which turned out to be Jimmy Alapag.

I guess Dino Aldeguer gets the worse “DLSU high pick to play in the PBA” tag for me because as much as I hate his clutch bomb in 1999… he should have had a better career than what he got. In 16 games, he only scored 1.3 points, 0.6 rebounds, and 0.4 assists. Worse, Alaska failed to net a finals appearance during this time.

While Aldeguer enjoyed a great stint with the Slashers in which he scored two finals appearances and the default national title in 2002, he unceremoniously faded away from the spotlight. Not only is he a dammit… clutch artist, he is also a defensive specialist.

I think Dino Aldeguer’s selection was an odd one for Purefoods but in some ways, I thought they did well in that draft. Let me put this into writing that Pop Cola messed up their draft when they selected Marc Stevens Victoria over him. Jon Ordonio may have started like a house on fire but his stock quickly went down and Wynne Arboleda’s PBA career has only begun. The Panthers were too talent-starved that Rhoel Gomez, Alaska’s designated spot-up shooter, almost played like an all-star for the squad alongside Jojo Lastimosa… mere days removed from the trade that also sent Brixter Encarnacion and Ruel Buenaventura to Alaska.

There are other DLSU high picks that failed in the PBA. Jason Webb in particular could have had a better career although he was able to sneak in two all-star games when the PBA event employed the Veterans versus RSJ format. Toby Poblador is another name from the 1987 PBA Draft and unfortunately, Teddy Alfarero is another name we should add to this list. Both players, however, played in a time when the PBA Draft was conducted without the best talent. In the 2000s, unfortunately, I am going to place Rico Maierhofer here because he started well for Purefoods but because he played under the SMC umbrella wherein players rotate inside one insane circle without any growth, he was not given the chance to have a better career. The same can be said with Arnold Van Opstal – whose exact draft number is non-existent because of the dopey 2016 special round.

When Aldeguer made a lot of Thomasians cry, he was able to put up 19 points and four steals. Throughout his PBA run, Aldeguer had a total of 21 points. Throughout his pre-PBA run, Aldeguer is known for his "punches in bunches" offense.

What if he got picked by another team?

I bet the outcome would have been different.