Before San Bead head coach Boyet Fernandez could make an assessment where Javee Mocon would land in the upcoming PBA draft, his other star player Robert Bolick couldn't help but interject.
"Second round," Bolick jokingly said.
The reporters in the Mall of Asia arena press room burst into laughter. The Red Lions had just won their third straight NCAA championship and the team was in high spirits after winning another title. Bolick was ever the entertainer with his silly antics. Mocon, though he made witty remarks here and there, maintained his usual calm and collected demeanor. Until their very last post-game press conference as teammates, the two engaged in a friendly banter, with Mocon happily obliging to being the butt of Bolick's jokes.
Mocon's contribution to San Beda's title-clinching 71-56 Game 2 win, however, was no laughing matter. He put up 16 points, using his underrated 3-point shot as his primary weapon en route to four triples. The 6-foot-4 big man was also a workhorse in the shaded area, hauling down 11 rebounds and blocking five shots. He ended up earning finals MVP honors with averages of 15.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks.
"Actually, I didn't think I would win MVP," Mocon humbly said in Filipino. "I just did my part in the team. The MVP will just arrive, fortunately, I got it."
Mocon is a San Beda lifer, playing for his school since his days as a Red Cub. In the NCAA Juniors ranks, he won two titles, and just as he did in the Seniors, he was also named Finals MVP. In total, he leaves the school with six championships. He is an absolute winner and has been the steady hand that has guided the Red Lions to multiple titles.
"I'm going to miss the community. The alumni are die-hard fans," he said. "I'm going to miss my teammates especially because they're so down to earth. We're so happy when we're together. We don't do anything but play around. I'm also thankful for my parents because they're always with me, through bad games and good games."
There were hardly any bad games for San Beda in Mocon's stay. The wins have piled up for the Red Lions, winners of 11 of the last 13 NCAA titles, including four of the last five.
"It's always in the program of San Beda," he said about the school's storied winning tradition. "From high school then going to the Seniors. Even if others go to other schools like in the UAAP, everything remains intact. The management and the coaching staff have done a really good job so I think it all goes to the program."
Mocon now sets his eyes on the pros. His teammate Bolick has already been highly regarded as one of the top three picks in the PBA draft, alongside CJ Perez and Ray Parks. After PBA teams nab the three superstars, it's a free-for-all from the fourth spot onwards. Fernandez believes that Mocon can immediately make an impact in the PBA and deserves to be in the upper tier of the draft.
"They already know that that the top three will be CJ, Robert, and Ray Ray," Fernandez said. "I'm hoping that the coaches will see him not only as a four-man but as a three-man as well. We tried to really move Javee to the three-man because that's his size in the PBA but during our season, he was a very consistent player in our four-man position. So I think we just maximized the things that he was giving us."
"I'm sure he'll be in the first round," the coach went on. "He deserves to be in the first round. I wish him all the best."
Throughout his collegiate career, Mocon relished his role as the team's rock and foundation. He served as the backbone of the Red Lions and he'll be regarded as one of the best players to don the red and white of San Beda. A tenacious rebounder, a reliable scorer, but more importantly a winner through and through, Mocon will now head over to the pros with credentials definitely worthy of a first round pick.