For a competitive athlete, trying to get some sleep after a bad loss is tough.
Aside from the physical pain, the emotional setback, the anxiety and emptiness would really test your character and challenge you from getting a sleep.
Last Saturday, I experienced it again.
After a strong start in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference, our team – Petron – was defeated by F2 Logistics in a best-of-three championship showdown.
It was such a competitive battle as both teams have what it takes to win the crown. The rallies were long, the defense was great and everybody was determined to win, especially since this is our fourth finals battle against each other.
Most of the players from F2 Logistics are my friends, especially Ara Galang, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo and coach Ramil de Jesus.
We practically grew up together and still maintain our friendship despite our teams emerging as mortal rivals on the court. But we’re still very professional. We keep our friendship aside to help our respective teams win the title.
Unfortunately, no matter how great the series was, only one team has to win.
And it was my former team – F2 Logistics.
So, even with a bleeding heart, I want to congratulate my friends and former teammates for a job well done.
Ara, my batchmate at De La Salle University, truly deserves the Most Valuable Player (MVP)award.
I know how hard it is to get back from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury and how close she was from trying other things. But she defied the odds to regain her MVP form and win another title.
As for my teammates, it was still a very good run.
This tournament was very short, but we played together, stayed together and helped each other reach the finals. Not everyone is given the chance to play in the championship round, so it’s still quite an impressive feat for my team.
And the fact that we pushed F2 Logistics to the limit and gave fans a very good finals showdown despite all kinds of problems and obstacles — with nobody getting hurt — is really a remarkable achievement.
Yes, we lost the crown.
But this is the perfect time for us to stay together and lift each other up like how we cheer up our friends and family. After all, we’re one big happy family in Petron.
I’m still nursing the pain of losing, but I have to be strong and move on.
I already learned all the important lessons on and off the court and realized that setbacks are meant to shape our characters and help us become strong both as an athlete and as a person.
Meantime, I will use the next few days to rest and recover because after this I have another important mission to fulfill – to play for the national team.
So, no matter how hard it is, I will do my best to get some sleep and prepare for our two-week training in Japan next week.
The PSL is finally over.
It’s now time to play for flag and country.