ONE former San Beda star found something to celebrate on the same day the Red Lions surrendered their crown to archrival Letran in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament almost a month ago.
Well, he actually had mixed feelings.
Jake Pascual celebrated the birth of his second child, Emily Lauren, last October 29 when the Knights dethroned the Red Lions in a thrilling overtime win in Game Three.
The Star forward had planned to watch the deciding match, but was forced to cancel after what was supposed to be a regular checkup for his wife, Macon, at Cardinal Santos Memorial in San Juan, turned out to be the day of delivery as advised by her doctor.
“Balak ko talaga manood kasama mga friends at batchmates ko,” said Pascual, who also planned to tag along his firstborn, four-year-old Elvin Mccoy, to the game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Sabi niya (Macon) hintayin mo na lang ako sa parking, tapos maya-maya, tumawag siya, sabi niya kailangan na daw siay operahan ngayon kasi caesarian.”
The operation took place in midday, a few hours before tipoff.
“Imbis na pupunta pa ako ng game, sa (hospital) room na lang ako nanood,” the former Lions stalwart said.
There, he witnessed the Lions rally from a late deficit to force an extra session only to fall short.
“Halo yung naramdaman ko,” Pascual said. “Masaya ako na lumabas yung pangalawang baby ko, tapos yung sa Beda naman, malungkot.”
“Maganda sanang gift sa school 'yun kung nag-champion, pero sabi nga nila ‘even the best down sometimes,’” he added with a smile. “Nagco-congrats sila sa akin at the same time, hindi rin kami makapag-party ng masaya kasi natalo Beda.”
But Pascual warned the rest of the NCAA field next season when he expects the Lions to come out roaring – similar to his experience the year after they lost to San Sebastian in 2009 when they swept the season, winning all their 18 games.
“Abangan nila yung susunod na taon kasi sa amin, pag natalo kami ng championship, talagang malaking pasabog yung darating eh.”