REGRET was the only thing Jeff Viernes had on his mind after Che’Lu Bar and Grill once again settled for a bridesmaid finish, this time to Go for Gold in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
What hurt him more was his subpar performance for the winner-take-all Game Five, where he was only limited to 15 points on a 4-of-12 shooting, to go with six rebounds, three assists, and three steals against seven turnovers on Thursday, which ended in a 102-92 victory in favor of the Scratchers.
“Itong game na ito yung kinailangan na kailangan nila ako, pero di ko nagawa yung dapat na gawin ko,” the Conference MVP said, obviously frustrated with how he performed in the clincher.
“Yung performance ko, di ako satisfied. Talagang wala ako sa game. Di na-feel yung presence ko. Credit mo na rin sa depensa nila. From the start, napakapisikal nila sa akin. Siguro ginawa naman namin ang best namin. Pero ganoon talaga ang basketball, may nananalo, may natatalo. Sila ang nagwagi, so congrats na lang sa kanila.”
It was a tough pill to swallow for Viernes, who dedicated this whole conference to the Revellers after missing out the Aspirants’ Cup title series when he was called up by GlobalPort in the PBA. With the sole goal of redemption in mind, his mindset this second conference was championship or bust.
But he resigned to the fact that after five games, Go for Gold was the better team despite Che’Lu being equally as hungry for the crown.
“Sabi ko nga, ginusto naman naming makuha yung championship pero hindi binigay. May mga bagay na kahit anong pilit mo, kahit gaano mo kagusto makuha, hindi lahat binibigay sa iyo,” he said. “Ganoon naman din sa kabila, binigay din nila ang lahat. Nagkatalo lang sa kung sino ang mas deserving at mas deserve nila manalo.”
Viernes made it clear that if he’s available again come next season, he won’t hesitate coming back to Che’Lu Bar and Grill for one more go round, saying, “Syempre pag wala akong kontrata, automatic naman yun. Kahit hindi magsabi sila coach, ako mismo ang magsasabi sa kanila na babalik ako. Family ang turing namin dito at parang siya na rin ang second father ko. Maganda naman ang samahan namin.”
For now though, as ironic as it is, Viernes will join forces with the core of Go for Gold for the Macau-bound IECO Green Warriors as they are set to compete in the 2018 Asia League Terrific 12 in September.