John Amores is hoping to prove that he can change for the better with his PBA ticket, which he scored almost a year after the infamous brawl incident he got into at an NCAA game.
The former JRU Heavy Bombers was announced as the fifth pick of the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2023 PBA Rookie Draft's fifth round on Sunday, Sept. 17. Speaking to the press, he admitted that he felt nervous and excited about his recent feat.
“Parang nagulat lang ako kasi kinakabahan pa kasi ako. Kahit naman yung pagpunta ko dito, kinakabahan ako kung matatawag ba ako o hindi,” he said. “Parang excited ako na kinakabahan. Basta, 'yun lang 'yung naramdaman ko."
The controversial player told the media that he sees it as an opportunity to redeem himself and show sports enthusiasts that he can have a "new start" in both his personal life and his career.
"Sobrang saya ko kasi nga, 'yung sa nangyari sakin, ito na 'yung pinaka umpisa na para mabago ko, maitama ko, at maipakita ko sa mga tao na gagawin ko 'yung makakabuti para sa career ko,” he said.
“Siguro gagawin ko lang 'yung pinaka-best ko. Kung ano lang 'yung maitutulong ko, 'yun lang 'yung gagawin ko. Kung ano 'yung kailangan ng team, especially 'yung defense, 'yun 'yung ipo-provide ko. Tutulungan ko sila para manalo sila.”
In November 2022, Amores was banned by the NCAA and removed from the JRU basketball program after getting involved in a punching incident during a game against the College of St. Benilde.
Amores lost his cool and attacked players on the Benilde Blazers bench with 3:22 minutes left in the matchup, running past referees and bouncers. He managed to throw punches at Jimboy Pasturan and Taine Davis, and was able to shove Migs Ozcon before he was pulled away from the opposing team.
Officials eventually stopped the game, and the Blazers emerged as the winner (71-51).
The day after the game, the NCAA banned Amores "indefinitely" along with other players from both JRU and Benilde for their actions. Benilde players Taine Davis and Jimboy Pasturan also lodged a physical injury complaint against Amores before the San Juan City Prosecutor's Office.
Before getting drafted into the PBA, Amores played with the Zamboanga Valientes in the Asean Basketball League and for Muntinlupa in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
At the Batang Pier, he will be teammates with fellow rookie aspirants Zavier Lucero, Cade Flores, Brent Paraiso, Fran Yu, and Jan Gabriel Sobrevega.