MIKE Tolomia and other Far Eastern University Tamaraws are glad to help former college rival and now Phoenix teammate Ed Daquioag finally claim a championship.
Tolomia battled Daquioag in the UAAP Season 78 finals, with FEU beating University of Sto. Tomas last season - just one of three finals heartaches in the Tigers guard's college career.
Now with the help of Tamaraws, the long-suffering Tiger got to lift a trophy as Phoenix beat Cafe France in the D-League Aspirants Cup finals.
Daquioag says the D-League win somehow eased the pain of his heartaches in college.
"Nabawi na rin 'yung sakin kahit papaano, pero iba pa rin kasi 'yung UAAP," he said.
"Para sa kanya 'yung championship, para 'to kay Ed," said the Tolomia.
The Tamaraws gave Daquioag a victory ride after the title-clinching Game Five victory, and let the Tigers guard do the honor of snipping the net off the hoop.
"Dine-dedicate namin 'to sa kanya kasi malungkot ang nangyari sa kanya sa UST, palagi silang second place (sa UAAP)," he added.
In five years with UST, Daquioag reached the UAAP finals three times but the Tigers finished runner-up to Ateneo in Season 75, La Salle in Season 76 and the most recent against FEU in Season 78.
"Masaya, sobrang saya. Wala akong masabi kasi sobrang saya ko lang talaga," said Daquioag. "Talagang ito rin siguro ang binigay sa akin ni Lord sa journey ko sa basketball. Sobrang saya mag-champion."
Daquioag said he felt immediately at home with the Tamaraws when he was tapped by Phoenix.
"Sobrang bait nila, wala akong masabi sa kanila," he said. "Lagi nila akong mino-motivate kapag down ako. Sasabihin nila sa akin, 'Ok lang 'yan, Ed, tara practice na lang tayo ulit,' mga ganoon."