AS Paranaque continues its run in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), Patriots coach Aric Del Rosario is glad to see the careers of his former players rejuvenated in the fledging league.
The Patriots pulled off a big upset in the quarterfinals, defeating Bulacan, 78-70, in the rubber match of their best-of-three series in the MPBL Anta-Rajah Cup at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium where the Kuyas went unbeaten all conference.
Del Rosario pulled off the feat behind players who he had coached before during his stints with University of Santo Tomas and Perpetual Help, namely Juneric Baloria, Harold Arboleda, and Jemal Vizcarra.
“Siyempre, masaya ako kasi at least itong mga ‘to, binubuhay ko pa,” said Del Rosario.
Baloria had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Patriots’ attack. His former teammate at Perpetual, Arboleda, had 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Kuyas, while Vizcarra, a former player of Del Rosario at UST, added 10 points.
Del Rosario is glad that he is still able to revive the careers of his former players particularly Baloria and Arboleda, who already had stints in the PBA prior to moving to the MPBL.
“Kamukha nila Harold at Baloria, wala ng kumukuha sa kanila. Eto ‘yung pagkakataon n'yo, kapag maganda showing ninyo, baka makita kayo ng PBA, makuha kayo,” said Del Rosario.
“Bumubuhay tayo ng patay eh, di ba?” said Del Rosario.
As for his team, Del Rosario said he never lost confidence even after losing to Bulacan, 83-73, in a Game One that saw the Patriots cut a 15-point deficit to five in the endgame.
Paranque trounced Bulacan, 81-54, in Game Two to tie the series.
“Di ba tinambakan kami, hinabol namin? Kung mahinang team tayo, ‘yung ganung klaseng game hindi na tayo makakahabol,” said Del Rosario.