In Thailand, Paul Zamar resuscitates PBA dream with Mono Vampire PLAY LIST 02:31In Thailand, Paul Zamar resuscitates PBA dream with Mono Vampire00:50Trending Articles01:50Palace defends Duterte’s absences from Asean events01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City When life knocks you down, you have a choice: Stay down or get back up.Paul Zamar chose the latter—continuing his basketball dream in Thailand, where he plays for Mono Vampire in the 2018 ASEAN Basketball League.ADVERTISEMENT “I’m thankful to the ABL because they give us players a chance,” he said.Looking back, things would have been different for the 31-year-old had he decided to leave the game for good.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLife seemed to have been at its best for Zamar back in 2016.Marrying longtime girlfriend Jane Arcangel in April, the steady playmaker out of University of the East churned out an MVP-caliber performance for Cafe France as he steered the Bakers to the 2016 Aspirants’ Cup Finals. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues He continued that solid outing in the 2016 Foundation Cup, but the Bakers once again crashed to the powerhouse Phoenix squad, which eventually won both PBA D-League titles that season.Though his team fell short, Zamar’s performance alone should have merited a call up, an invite at the very least, to the big league.Paul Zamar delivered solid performances for Cafe France in the PBA D-League before the team decided to change directions, leaving the former UE playmaker without a team. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSome things, however, just weren’t in his control, and with Cafe France opting to go on a different direction, that left the 5-foot-11 Zamar unemployed. Without a direction to latch onto going forward, and with his PBA dream as distant as ever, Zamar’s situation almost drove him to depression.Paul’s father, Boycie, meanwhile, approached it differently, telling his son to keep on playing. After all, the now-San Miguel assistant coach himself has experienced this overseas way of living as he played and coached in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore years before.“Life is unfair, and that’s always the case,” he told his son then. “You have a choice to do good things or bad things. Either way, people will say something at you, so it’s better that you just do good.”ADVERTISEMENT BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq LATEST STORIES 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Those words reverberated for the younger Zamar, and until this day, he keeps that in his mind, driving him to continue dreaming.That led him overseas to his new home in Mono Thewphaingarm, where he immediately brought the house down and set a new Thailand Basketball Super League scoring record of 52 points in the team’s victory over Hi-Tech back in June.His stupendous run in the local league led to his eventual stint with Mono Vampire in the ABL, where he now forms a killer backcourt duo with Fil-Am court general Jason Brickman.“The PBA is still crowded for us guards and we know have to work. As players, we want to improve, continue playing, and still be visible to the public. The chance is being given here for us and we’re just taking this opportunity,” he said.Mono Vampire’s @paulzamar willingly obliges for photos with Thai kids after the game. #ABL8 pic.twitter.com/zw5cw4XoOW— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) December 8, 2017In Mono Vampire, Zamar is a superstar, with the team expecting him to rack up solid numbers and be one of the key cogs to lead the team to victories. That also comes with the perks of his popularity with young basketball players try to chase him after games asking for picture and autographs.He’s not alone, though, as a number of Filipino cagers have taken their acts internationally and are now counted on as Heritage Imports in the ABL. Names like Leo Avenido, Jerick Cañada, and Froilan Baguion made lasting impact in their respective stints in regional circuit previously, with former PBA players like Reil Cervantes, Rudy Lingganay, and James Forrester now following suit.Zamar didn’t deny that it took him a lot of time before he was able to adjust to this brand new setting, from meshing with his new teammates as well as inculcating himself to the new culture. But what fast-tracked Zamar’s adjustment period is the same reason that drove him to this foreign land — the game of basketball. Cayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa “I was still feeling my way in the beginning, but after two weeks of playing with them, it eventually became ok,” he said, as he spent the last six months of his life living in Bangkok. “It’s still different that you’ll go to the games on the road compared to here that we’re always flying. But I feel ok here with the freedom the coach has been giving me in the games.”Mono Vampire’s Paul Zamar tries to evade the defense of fellow Filipino Christian Standhardinger of Hong Kong Eastern. Photo from ASEAN Basketball LeagueBut Zamar isn’t looking at this run as a demotion of sorts. Moreover, he feels challenged with the improved competition in the region, a testament to the evolution of the ABL over the years.“I was watching ABL before and I felt that I would like to play here because I saw the competition. A number of Filipinos have also played here, and we’re taking on American imports.Before, there are only Southeast Asian teams. But now, East Asian teams are joining like China, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei, so the level of play here in the ABL has truly improved,” he said. “You can say that it’s the best of the best of the countries that are being sent here, and it really fuels me to perform at my best, especially that I’m looked at here as an import. It really tests me to be on my toes because I’m out of my comfort zone and as my father reminded me, I’m always under the microscope as an import.”The cream always rises to the top, and for Zamar, this stint has been nothing but promising, as he averages 15.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in his seven games for Mono Vampire this season.Zamar has been nothing short of impressive but he reiterates that he still hasn’t given up on coming back home and playing in the PBA, where he was drafted in the fourth round by Ginebra back in 2012.“Home is where the heart is,” he said. “My family, my wife is in the Philippines. It’s hard here abroad where I’m always alone. Sometimes, you’ll wake up and you’re all by your lonesome. It’s really difficult. That’s why if there’s a chance for me to make it to the PBA, I will really grab it.”But now that the opportunity is dry, Zamar is content on making his name and improving his game in Thailand.“For now, I’m thankful for this opportunity that I’m getting here in Mono. I’ll concentrate on my job here.”Photo from ASEAN Basketball League View comments In Thailand, Paul Zamar resuscitates PBA dream with Mono Vampire4.7K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Depleted Bolts get boost from Canaleta, new additions Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.