CEBU CITY – With their season hanging in the balance and University of Cebu Baby Webmasters breathing down on their necks, the Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles were in desperate need of a savior.
Fortunately they found one in Errol Pastor.
Finding his rhythm at the right place and the right time, Pastor saved the day for the Magis Eagles and injected a lease of life to the team’s bid for a third straight title in the juniors division of the 15th Cesafi basketball tournament.
After a dominant showing that saw the team went unbeaten in 11 games combined in both the eliminations and semifinals, the Magis Eagles suddenly looked vulnerable in the finals against the blanket defense being thrown by the Baby Webmasters.
Pastro and Jed Colonia, Ateneo de Cebu’s other sentinel, were obviously struggling and had been a shadow of their former selves.
But instead of getting discouraged, Pastro was quick to seize the moment in Game Two of the title series when the chips appeared to be down on the Magis Eagles.
“Naisip ko na last na ito, so dapat doblehin ko ang effort at ibuhos ko na ang lakas ko,” shared the 16-year old, recruited to join the Magis Eagles from Cadiz City.
Taking charge under intense pressure is hardly new to Pastor though.
He was one third of the team that captured the gold medal in the 3-on-3 tournament of the Batang Pinoy National Finals in Bacolod City, where he had for his teammate Batang Gilas and Ateneo junior star Sam Josef Belangel.
His exploit easily caught the attention of current Ateneo de Cebu assistant coach Francis Auquico.
“Ayun, pinuntahan nila ako sa bahay at kinausap yung parents ko. Gusto ko dito sa Ateneo de Cebu kasi aside sa makakakuha ako ng magandang edukasyon, magaling yung basketball program nila talaga,” shared Pastor, who admitted getting used to the physicality of the games in Cebu compared to the naturally tamed tempo of plays in his home region.
“Naku, mas pisikal dito. Doon sa amin, sa pusta-pustahan ko lang nararamdaman yan,” said Pastor with an impish grin.
But with the deciding Game Three of the series looming, Pastor is prepared to wipe off the smile on his face and get down to serious business.
“Mas lalo pa namin lakasan ang depensa namin. Tsaka dapat mas i-rotate yung bola at huwag maging selfish sa opensa. Pero dapat mas mag-focus kami sa depensa. Ika nga, offense wins games but defense wins championships,” he said.