A LOT of people may have been disappointed with the performance of the Gilas cadets in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, but chief benefactor Ronald Mascariñas vows to stick with the kids regardless of the results.
The cadets formally bowed out of the annual preseason tournament following an 86-81 loss to National University on Tuesday to finish their campaign with a 1-5 record.
For the CEO of Bounty Agro ventures, this is just the beginning of their journey.
"Ano gagawin natin? Iwanan sila because of their losses in the Preseason Cup? That’s not going to happen. Walang iwanan," Mascariñas said. "The kids need us now more than ever."
Mascarinas said that while fans and supporters are disappointed, the most dejected ones are the players themselves.
Composed of some of the best collegiate players in the country, the cadets should understand that almost every Gilas team had to go through rough patches, Mascarinas said.
"Masakit para sa amin to see our young players after the games. Down sila at very disappointed," Mascariñas said.
"But we always make them realize na every Gilas team starts off this way before learning how to bounce back from adversity," he added.
The losses were certainly hard to take, but for him, they were able to maximize the tournament to their fullest potential – which is to build chemistry and camaraderie as some are slated to be called up in the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta this August.
"We joined the preseason tournament not because we want to rack up the wins," Mascariñas continued.
"Any brand wants a winner but the main purpose of entering this tournament is that we want to give the Cadets an exercise to build brotherhood and for us to see the next step needed for them to grow as a team."