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Proving His Worth: Fran Yu’s Quest to Make It in the PBA Big Leagues

MANILA, Philippines–Despite coming out of a champion varsity program, NorthPort newcomer Fran Yu is still playing with a massive chip on his shoulder. He made sure to build a strong case for himself on Friday night as the Batang Pier held off perennial title contender TNT in overtime, 128-123, at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. “I’m a rookie but I’m getting so much trust from the coaches. So big that I need to play well,” he told the Inquirer on the heels of a 14-point, six-assist performance that helped the club to a 3-2 record in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Yu figured prominently in the extra period, scoring or assisting almost half of NorthPort’s 15 points in that frame to send the Tropang Giga reeling to a second straight loss in the race.

“It’s also why I’m working hard—I want to prove to people who do not believe that I am capable of performing and playing in the PBA,” the lanky 5’10” playmaker said.
Yu is part of the famed Letran Knights squad that won the NCAA title from 2020 through 2022. He skippered the squad that delivered the third championship, but those credentials weren’t able to help him in the 2023 Rookie Draft as he slid down to the fourth round. He was picked 40th overall in the annual selection which came off as a shocker to many PBA fans and pundits. And Yu admitted that that also fuels his desire to play well. Yu also held his own against TNT’s veteran guard Jayson Castro. But he refuses to stray away from the biggest driver of his game. “I’m glad,” he said of his performance against Castro. “That’s once the best point guard in Asia.” “But you know, I’ll still go back to that thing I told you—I want to prove I’m deserving of a spot here in the PBA,” he said.

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