Home » Sports » Basketball » Remember, Ducut?

Remember, Ducut?

by Dennis Principe

Back in the day, teams drool once they see or hear of a player who stands 6-foot-5 or even those just a shade under.

That was one of the main reasons former PBA player Ed Ducut was able to establish a relatively successful basketball career because at 6-foot-4, he was considered a rarity in the 80s and 90s.

Ducut was a sought after player mainly because of his height that can literally match well-known big men of his time, most notably the multi-dimensional four-time MVP Ramon Fernandez and iconic import Norman Black.

ED Ducut wearing the Ginebra San Miguel jersey.

ED Ducut wearing the Ginebra San Miguel jersey.

While he was not able to get sizeable playing minutes that befit a PBA star, Ducut still became popular and well-liked by basketball fans.

To the young ones, try to recall how you enjoyed seeing ultimate bench guy Jerwin Gaco during those sparing minutes inside the court, that was how Ducut thrilled the now “young once.”

It also helped a lot that Ducut was part of a Ginebra team at a time when it was starting to build a basketball empire ruled by their iconic playing-coach Robert Jaworski.

“Iba talaga yung Jaworski kasi hanggang ngayon, matagal na akong wala sa PBA, madami pa din nakakakilala sa akin,” said Ducut. “Mayroon pa din mga imbitasyon, mga nagpapa-picture kapag-nakilala nila ako.”

After a short stint as part of the Letran Knights, Ducut joined the La Tondeña franchise which was then carrying the name Gilbey’s Gin.

“Nung pumasok na sina Sonny (Jaworski) at Francis (Arnaiz), dun na nagbago kasi one year after nun, si Sonny na ang nag-coach,’ recalled Ducut. “Iba na kay Sonny kasi talagang dapat buhos lahat sa ensayo. Ako naman, ginagamit niya ako sa laro kapag kailangan ng magbantay sa import.”

Others may consider Ducut as some sort of a novelty but for the player himself, he believes his hardwork, patience and being a team player inside and out of the hardcourt contributed a lot to their ballclub.

In their game against Tanduay reinforced by David Thirdkill who was averaging around 60 points per game, Ducut remembered how he limited the prolific import on their way to beating the Rhum Masters.

“Sinabi ni Sonny sa mga players, ‘Si Ed nalimitahan si Thirdkill ng 30 points. 60 points yan halos kung gumawa. Oh, eh di 30 points ang ginawa sa atin ni Ed.’ Ganoon kagaling mag-motivate si Sonny,” said Ducut.

It was also through Jaworski that Ducut was able to establish the foundation of the simple life he now enjoys.

“Parati sinasabi ni Sonny sa mga players na ang basketball hindi pang habang-buhay. Habang may pera ka, bilhin mo na yung dapat mong bilhin,” said Ducut.

Since then, Ducut made sure every salary and bonuses he would gain would be used to acquire essential needs that would benefit his growing family.

“Lahat ng kita ko, sa lupa at gamit ko inilagay. Bumili din ako ng jeep na nagamit ko nung nagretire na ako,” disclosed Ducut.

Ducut played eight years for the Ginebra franchise before transferring to the Shell Turbochargers where he was part of the team’s first-ever PBA title, the 1990 First Conference crown.

He was set to join the Presto Tivoli the following conference but decided to forego that plan after Mount Pinatubo erupted in June 1990.

The now 60-year-old Ducut continues to enjoy the fruits of his labor in Floridablanca, Pampanga by managing their farm land and staying in a modest house together with his wife Carmencita and four children who all finished college through the assistance of the PBA Players’ Trust Fund.

Ducut and his family are still mourning the death of Chris, the second of four kids, who was killed in a vehicular accident last July 30.

“Masakit syempre pero ganoon naman siguro ang buhay, ano man mangyari dapat lahat matutuhan mong tanggapin, masaya man o hindi,” said Ducut.