Mono Vampire heritage import Paul Zamar is homeward bound after successfully securing a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) contract, but he insists he will always be a Vampire at heart.
Zamar impressed PBA scouts after his solid play both in the Thailand domestic leagues and in the recently concluded ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season, where Mono Vampire was only a win away from taking home the Championship against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
PBA’s Blackwater Elite signed the former University of the East stand-out for the PBA season, helping him fulfill a lifelong dream that was halted after he was left unsigned by the team who drafted him in 2012.
After playing in the semi-pro leagues in the Philippines, and tournaments around Malaysia and Indonesia, Thailand came knocking, offering him a long-term opportunity to play professional basketball with and against other remarkable players around Southeast Asia and high-caliber imports.
The 30-year-old guard stressed how grateful he is to the Mono Group, who first signed him to Vampire-affiliate Mono Thewphaingarm team during the 2017 Thailand Basketball Super League (TBSL) and Thailand Basketball League (TBL) seasons. He was then moved to the multi-titled squad who successfully defended their championship this season.
“I will always be thankful to the Mono Group. They took me in at a time that nobody believed in me. I will always be indebted to them for giving my career a second life. To the chairman, coach Joe (Sunthornphong Mawinthorn of Mono Thewphaingarm), coach Doug (Marty of Mono Vampire), Apichok (Saekow), Kris (Kairusmee), Kim Tee, to all my teammates, team staff, and to all the Thai fans who had shown me support in the past year and a half.”
Zamar admits to never wanting to leave the Philippines to play professionally overseas, but he has since fell in love with the culture and the people of Thailand, who he says fully embraced him like their own.
And while he is fully determined to put roots down in his home country’s premier league, part of him will always be with his Thai brothers.
“This is not goodbye. You are and will always be a family to me and I will always walk the same direction as you are. Happy trails to us, until we meet again.”