The journey started for a then 15-year-old Lawrence Domingo when he traveled nearly 400 miles from Union City down to Los Angeles to play for an amateur team. Not too long after, he committed and played Division II basketball for four years at Eastern New Mexico University before making the jump professionally, debuting with Alab Pilipinas as a heritage import in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) last year.
Now 7000 miles further from home, the 24-year-old Filipino-American forward feels like the transition has almost been seamless. After time spent away from the family, they fully understood and have been supportive throughout his basketball journey, including chasing the dream playing overseas.
“I know that playing professionally isn’t easy and can take a toll on someone. You have to be tough and not just physically but mentally too. I’ve always been away from home and my family. I think those experiences help make this transition a little easier.”
Domingo doesn’t mind being less heralded as some of his Alab Pilipinas teammates like Gilas Pilipinas National Team member Bobby Ray Parks Jr., but admits he still feels like he has underachieved and aims to be a better player out on the court after averaging nearly 10 points and seven rebounds a game in his debut season in the ABL. “I always play with a chip on my shoulder, always feel like I have something to prove.”
“i’ve always been away from home and my family. i think those experiences help make this transition a little easier.”
The 6’5’’ forward who mentioned struggling with his playing weight, added he put in a lot of work with his personal trainer back in the States to get his weight back down to a more natural 215 pounds.
“Last season, I came in at around 230 and finished in the upper 230’s. You’ll definitely see a quicker and more athletic ‘Lo. We also worked on some things I was lacking last season, but I’ll wait for everyone to watch the games to see what those are.”
PHOTO CREDIT: ASEAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Priding himself as a defensive-minded player, Domingo is also excited to guard someone in particular: “Marcus Elliot. He has the ball a lot and comes off a lot of ball screens. Dude could shoot and is pretty athletic, but hard to guard doesn’t mean unstoppable.”
“we also worked on some things i was lacking last season, but i’ll wait for everyone to watch the games to see what those are.”
Back in his second season in the ABL, the thing that most excites Domingo is playing home games across different regions around the Philippines, they will play in at least eight different venues this season that are expected to be a full house every night.
“Last season felt like my freshman year of college with a new style of play, game moving at a different pace. It took a little time to get used to it but I feel like I adjusted well and finished the second half of the season strong. I knew what I needed to work on over the summer and how I would be coming back mentally and physically. Coming in with a new team I’m ready to show everyone what we could do.”
“All the close games we won in our packed home arenas. I love the fans out here. You could always feel the energy. Every basketball player would love to play in the Philippines.”
Domingo admitted the goal is to get to play in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in the future, but with the start of the new ABL season where they aim to advance to the finals and challenge for the championship, that is farthest from his mind right now.
“You could always feel the energy. every basketball player would love to play in the philippines.”
“Just want to let the fans know how excited I am to be back this season in the ABL, and I hope all of you will continue to follow us with your love and support. I’m focused more than I have ever been, let’s go for the championship.”