Harboring dreams of playing overseas, former UAAP most valuable player Jarvey Gayoso made a tough decision to forgo his final year of eligibility at Ateneo for a chance to accelerate his improvement with the Azkals Development Team (ADT), which will be fielded by the Philippine Football Federation as a guest team in the Philippines Football League.
Having watched some of his contemporaries like Amani Aguinaldo and Marco Casambre already get a taste of what it’s like to play in countries where football has a much higher profile, Gayoso now wants to follow that path.
Aguinaldo, 24, is playing for Trat FC in Thai League 1 after a strong season in Malaysia last year, but he’s already chalked up 38 appearances for the Azkals. The defender, however, focused on his pro career as early as 2014 in lieu of playing in the UAAP and he’s reaping the benefits of starting out early.
Now 23 with a year left to finish his management degree at Ateneo, Jarvey, son of former PBA player Jayvee Gayoso, also sees that path, but feels no regrets staying longer in the college game.
“This is the best time for me to take the leap,” Gayoso said. “I don’t think I would’ve been as prepared. My mind-set would have been in a different place. So right now, the only thing in my mind at the moment is to have that opportunity to play overseas. I just want to grow as a player.”
The ADT will provide just that for Gayoso, whose checkered career in the UAAP includes a couple of championships.The program could be a game changer as collegiate stars may now be forced to rethink their options with the ADT providing a pathway to opportunities for a career outside the country.
“I think this is the best