OVER a decade ago, a very young kid was already a scene stealer in a covered court in between games of a community basketball league in Antipolo City.
That young kid was Mur Prince Alao, who would dribble, drive and shoot a ball bigger than his head during the halftime break or after the games of the tournament organized by his commercial basketball player father Ray Alao for the youth in their Antipolo Hills Subdivision in San Luis and nearby barangays.
The young Alao then started playing the game of basketball along with friends of his age in a makeshift court inside their backyard, where his father harnessed his shooting touch during daily, one-hour practice sessions.
Mur Prince’s love for the game developed when his father took him to the real mahogany hardcourts in modern gyms around Metro Manila for him to witness serious competitive ballgames and actually feel the joy of victory and agony of defeat from contending adult players, including his idol dad.
Slowly but surely, he developed his basketball talent by playing in his school in the city until he was discovered in 2013 by coach Robert dela Rosa, who sent him to San Beda-Rizal under coach VL Sandalo for a tryout. He was an incoming Grade 4 student the time and was handled by Sandalo until he was at 7th grade.
Mur Prince’s young career grew even further with another mentor coach in Manu Inigo as he continued playing for San Beda-Taytay under a full athletic scholarship. They won a championship together for the school.
In 2017, Alao played for a couple of basketball tournaments — the SBP Passarelle and adidas Uprising.
He then tasted his NCAA championship as a San Beda Red Cub, followed by an NCAA 3X3 title.
That was after he captured a prestigious crown as a member of Pinoy Youth Dreamers mentored by coach Beaujing Acot (2015) in Malaysia. He also bagged a 3X3 plum and was an MVP awardee in an age-bracket tourney in Guam
The highlight of his young basketball career in the international scene was winning back-to-back titles in the NCAA Pacific Championship in Thailand (2018 and 2019), an accomplishment lauded by President Rodrigo Duterte in a courtesy call in Malacanang Palace.
The young 6’2” pointguard Mur Prince also went to Guam, USA and trained under Coach Vincent Askew (former NBA import), before joining the Batang Gilas Under 18 pool.
Currently, the 18-year-old Alao is already the team captain of the San Beda University Red Cubs (juniors) basketball team in the NCAA.
With his innate talent and hard work, the fast rising Alao is destined to be a star, adored in the sport loved by the Filipinos.
“I love this ballgame so much. It’s the biggest part of my life aside from my studies. It’s an ambition and destiny. I thank God, my families, friends, mentors and Davao Occidental Tigers COCOLIFE for helping me grow in pursuit of my goals,” said the young Alao, whose ultimate dream is to play in the PBA and become a national player of GILAS Pilipinas.
Make way for the Prince.