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EOG-Burlington Mindoro entered Saturday’s match-up against EMKAI-Rizal Xentro Mall needing a crucial win to stay in contention for the quarterfinals of the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational powered by TM.
Aside from the high stakes in the game, head coach Britt Reroma and eventual player of the game Jeramer Cabanag were also mindful that their kababayans back in the Visayas region have been badly affected by typhoon Odette.
Given the situation, both the tactician and the scoring guard dedicated the hard-fought 86-83 victory of the Tamaraws over the Golden Coolers to everyone affected by the category five super typhoon.
“Sa amin, sa Negros, may mga lugar talaga na sobrang affected at sana may mga agarang tulong na makarating agad sa kanila dahil maraming pamilya ang nasalanta,” Cabanag, a Bacolod native who went on to play for San Beda in college, candidly stated.
“May mga places rin talaga sa Bacolod na grabeng affected ng bagyo. Inspired din ako kasi gusto ko i-alay sa kanila ‘yung game, ma-lift kahit papano ‘yung feelings,” he added.
Cabanag finished with a personal tournament-best yet of 23 points, which included five triples.
Meanwhile, coach Reroma, who is originally from Cebu, also kept his family and relatives back home in his thoughts while trying to will Mindoro to victory.
“I am from Cebu. Actually, ngayon ko lang rin nakausap ang family ko for the last 24 hours. Good thing, nakakausap na (sila). As a Cebuano, inaalay namin ‘to sa lahat itong game na ‘to. Lahat tayo ay Pilipino, (naglalaro) para sa bayan,” the multi-titled high school champion coach said.
“I am sure they cannot watch the game, kasi walang internet (right now). Pero at least, taos-pusong galing sa amin na, mai-alay at magbigay ng inspirasyon at ngiti. Sana mabigyan natin sila ng kaunting kaligayahan.”
Odette is considered “one of the strongest typhoons” this calendar year, and at least 11 has already been confirmed dead after the storm made landfall on Friday in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Mindoro’s win pushed them to a 3-1 record in a tight battle in Group D of the team standings, joining the Manila Stars and Imus Bandera in a three-way tie.
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