Basketball is JC’s other passion
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2015 - 9:00am

There is something that JC de Vera loves  and is good at  almost as much as he does acting, and that’s sports.

JC, in case you didn’t know, is more than just a passable basketball player. He’s actually good at it, and is often invited to take part in celebrity basketball tournaments where fans flock to him not just because of his looks or talent, but because of his athletic skills. During the recent X-Factor Productions Celebrity Basketball Tournament held at La Salle Dasmariñas — where the JC-led celebrity team won over a selection of DLSU-Dasmariñas alumni — JC agreed to a short sit-down interview in which he revealed how he came to love sports and his passion for basketball in particular.

“Basketball talaga ang gusto ko ever since,” says JC, who got the La Salle-Dasmariñas crowd cheering when he sank timely outside jumpers and long range shots, which seem to be his specialty. “Since I was three years old, wala akong ibang toys kundi bola. Di ako mahilig sa ibang toys. Ang gusto ko bola at ring, at mag-shoot.”

He joined the varsity teams in grade school and high school at Colegio San Agustin, actively playing from grade six until fourth year high school. “Galing ako doon. Bago ako mag-artista, (basketball) player talaga ako,” he says.

When he moved to ABS-CBN two years ago, one of the first events JC attended was the Star Magic Games where he displayed his basketball prowess. Now unfortunately, he doesn’t get to play as often as he did because of his showbiz schedule. JC is currently in the cast of the Kapamilya serye You’re My Home and the gag show Banana Sundae. Being part of two shows that are very different from each other — one is an intense, heavy drama and the other, an all-out comedy, isn’t easy, confesses JC, who was also seen in Moon of Desire and Legal Wife with Maja Salvador and Angel Locsin. “Nakakahilo!” he laughs. “Extremes kasi. ‘Yung isa, very heavy, ‘yung isa, very light naman. Nakakahilo minsan.”

He has learned how to cope with that, though, by preparing himself even before he leaves the house for work so that when he gets to the set he’s already made that distinction in his mind to adjust based on what he is going to do for the day. Banana Sundae is taped as live every Thursday, while You’re My Home tapes thrice a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. So once a week, JC has to get into a humorous frame of mind for work; the rest of the time, he spends preparing for those dramatic scenes in You’re My Home. “May mga seremonya talaga sa morning. You have to take time before you go to work. Set mo yung mind mo for the whole day.”

Now he’s looking forward to doing more projects, both on the small screen and in the movies (his latest was Halik sa Hangin, opposite Julia Montes and Gerald Anderson. Reflecting on his current work situation, JC believes he’s in a good place. Career opportunities keep opening up; he’s even toying with the idea of doing another indie film after Salvage with Jessy Mendiola.

This holiday season, though, he plans to take it easy. He won’t be starring in an entry for the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). “This year, bakasyon ako,” then hastily corrects himself: “Di rin bakasyon, busy rin pala,” he laughs. “’Yun nga, after the soap, meron kaming gagawin ng manager ko, naghahanap kami ng indie films.”

Sundays, he says, are reserved for fun activities like basketball, which he enjoys with his friends, both celebrity and non-celebs. For JC, it’s a chance not just to do something he loves, but also to bond with his fans and supporters. At the X-Factor basketball game where he played on the same team as other actors like Marco Alcaraz, singer-rapper Young JV, celebrity chef and entrepreneur Jose Sarasola, Marco Gumabao and Matt Evans, JC posed for photos courtside with his fans and even signed a few autographs.

JC says that ultimately, the decision to move to ABS-CBN is proving to be beneficial to his career. There will be more things coming for him in 2016. “Career-wise, 2015 was very, very productive and very fruitful. I think 2016 will be tiring, pero good problem to have naman ‘yon, di ba?”


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