ALAB Pilipinas dedicated its win on Sunday in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) to JR Cawaling’s brother, who passed away on Saturday.
Cawaling still travelled with the team to Malaysia for the match against the KL Dragons on Sunday, a day after his brother Jared died due to an enlarged heart. He was 36.
“The team dedicated the game to JR’s brother,” Alab Pilipinas said in a Twitter message to Spin.ph.
Cawaling played his best game of the season, scoring 11 points as Alab Pilipinas beat the reigning titleholders Westports Malaysia Dragons, 65-54, in Cyberjaya.
He also hit the dagger three-pointer that put the game out of reach, putting Alab ahead by 12 with less than two minutes remaining in the match.
Alab co-owner Charlie Dy said he is proud of how Cawaling handled the situation and how the other players honored their teammate’s brother by playing well.
“I'm really proud of this team because no matter what adversities and circumstances, they are all very professional,” said Dy.
Alab coach Mac Cuan said he encouraged Cawaling to take shots. He ended up with a 4-of-9 clip from the field including three triples.
“I even talked to JR before the game and I told him to keep shooting and let it fly kasi I know his brother is with us today and guiding him,” said Cuan.