Coaching amateur basketball can be draining physically and emotionally, but it is knowing how the players have matured because of the time that we have shared together that makes it all worth it.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it is an honor to have battled with such an elite team of men.
One, Two, Three… PUSO!
by Merv Villar
Yes – for the 3rd straight year, we failed to win it all again. After our dismal performance in last year’s Finals – losing two games without winning a single game in the series – here we are again; In-pain and In-denial. After sweeping the elimination round with convincing wins, posting 9 straight wins with an average of 25 points per game margin versus team opponents, it only took two close heart-breaking loss – a 2-point game and a 4-point game defeat over the hands of the come-backing Air Destruct and Archrivals Trifecta – in the Semi-Finals round to boot us out of the tournament. Everything we hoped to achieve was gone, and we found ourselves back in the same place we’ve been for the last two years.
But I never regret anything. Every possession of those lost games, I knew we gave our 110 percent. Every one of us recognized their role in the team and I just want take this opportunity to thank my teammates’ unquestionable will and determination to win; I would forever trust Jerick’s consistent jumpers to win us games. Jansen’s hustle plays that always give the team that much-needed spark. Ken’s emphatic leadership that remains most valuable to the team. Andy’s daredevil drives to the basket which never fail to pump up the crowd. Patrick’s scoring threat that remains a deadly option for our offensive play. Mark’ssteady presence on the court which is the last line of our defense. Brat’s sweet shooting from the perimeter that provides us instant offense. Dugol’s acrobatic lay-ups that gets our team going. Arjay’s control of rebounds and much-needed second-chance points. TheSunega brothers’ and the toughness they bring onto the court. Igo, Carlo and Arwin’squality minutes that proved to be important in winning games. And of course, Mac’s sharp shooting from the 3 point line that serves as the dagger or the icing on the cake. Losing with this group of guys was not an embarrassment but an honor – something that can’t be taken away from us by those stupid referees’ calls. I was teary-eyed upon hearing all the chants of the people who watched the game, how they over-reacted by every whistle-blow against us, how they showed support and came to us after the game and told us they believe we are the true winners, that a basketball game was not always won based on the scoreboard but by showing the true character of a winner. I remember a friend told me she didn’t witnessed defeat, that what she saw that night was how one team won the hearts of everyone watching the game. I once read that the ultimate sports cleanser was victory, and I guess it’s right, it proves something when you win, but when you lose, it gives you a lot of opportunities. It makes you hungrier, smarter and determined to get better. I’m so grateful to our coach – Mr. Ryan Salvanera – who thought us how to play like champions. Win or lose, true sportsmanship was always the most important. Champions don’t laugh at fallen opponents or do hand-signal gestures like an attention-deprived autistic adult; a true champion captures the hearts of everyone by their dominant but humble play and acts on court.
Our ultimate goal is to win a championship; to get again to the top and prove everyone we can be the best again. Though we came up short again this year, there’s no doubt we’re gonna try to win it all again next year. Basketball, for some, is just a game, but for us, there’s more to that. Basketball taught us a lot. In fact, it had a great effect on how I became the person that I am right now. We’re not sure what’s going to happen in a year’s time. There’s a slim chance we’ll be able to get back with the same lineup we have right now, but we promise we will never stop chasing that elusive title. We’ll just let our hearts do the talking. One two three Puso!
Ryan’s top five talent themes are:
Relator, Arranger, Learner, Maximizer and Individualization.
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