As one of the top scorers during the recent All Star Games 2019, it’s no surprise to hear that Team It’s Showtime member Ion Perez has been playing basketball all his life. “Simula bata pa ako kasi siguro hindi alam ng tao na naglalaro ako ng basketball pero simula sa pagkabata ko naglalaro na talaga ako nun. Nag-varsity ako pero nag-stop ako,” he told PUSH in an exclusive interview.
The model more popularly known on It’s Showtime as “Kuya Escort” said he never stopped playing his favorite sport even after joining showbiz. Ion said he also dreams of playing in a professional basketball league someday. “Kung may pagkakataon. Ngayon hindi ako huminto talaga, naglalaro pa rin ako kahit papaano. Monday to Wednesday nag-pa-practice kami. Pero na-develop talaga ako sa basketball nung naging player ako ng Tarlac nung 18 years old ako. Liga din, inter-town,” he said.
In between breaks at the game, the crowd erupted in cheers whenever team captain Vice Ganda went inside the court to cheer for Ion, even holding hands with him at one point during a rally. “Oo first time niya ako mapanuod na maglaro. Kuwelahan. Okay lang yun kasi in-expect ko din naman yun eh kasi yun talaga yung purpose ng team namin na magbigay ng saya sa mga tao,” he shared.
After being part of the It’s Showtime All Stars team who also includes members like Vhong Navarro, Jhong Hilario, Teddy Corpuz, Jugs Jugueta, and Ryan Bang, Ion said he was also impressed by his teammates. “Okay naman masaya kasi ako din nagugulat sa mga laro nila kasi akala ko hindi sila naglalaro pero ayun pala may kanya-kanya silang potential sa laro,” he said.
But during their intense game which ended in a double overtime, Ion admits it was the other team’s captain who was the most challenging to play against on the court. “Halos lahat naman kasi sila mahirap bantayan pero ang pinakamahirap talaga bantayan si kuya Gerald Anderson kasi siyempre naglalaro siya sa MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) at saka nag-te-train talaga siya,” he added.