BONG Galanza wouldn’t trade a victory for a personal milestone.
The back-up guard lamented coming up short of helping NLEX score its breakthrough win in the PBA Philippine Cup despite playing a career game on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Galanza finished with a career-high 19 points, including 16 in the first half, and was 4-of-7 from three-point range in an 85-80 NLEX loss to the TnT Katropa.
He missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final three seconds to spoil what until then was a special night.
“Masarap pero nakakalungkot kasi mas okay sana pag panalo,” said Galanza, whose previous high was 15 points while still playing for KIA.
Galanza’s final attempt was right on line but the ball bounced out, with the Katropa grabbing the rebound to secure the team’s first win in three outings.
Given another opportunity, the former University of the East stalwart won’t hesitate taking the same shot.
“Kapag mabigyan ulit ako ng chance, ititira ko pa rin,” he said.
The 26-year-old native of Isabela is relishing a second chance at NLEX after a forgettable two seasons with the Columbian franchise.
After briefly toiling in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) where he won a championship with the Batangas City Athletics, Galanza got a call-up from the Road Warriors in the season-ending Governors Cup.
He has since earned the trust of coach Yeng Guiao, who confidently inserted him in the starting unit against TnT.
“Hindi ko alam kung ano yung nakita sa akin ni coach Yeng,” said Galanza. “Andiyan ako ngayon sa team niya kaya every time na ginagamit niya ako gusto ko talagang maglaro sa kanya at gusto kong manalo.”
Like all of the players who played under Guiao, Galanza has found himself on the receiving end of the fiery mentor's outbursts, all of which he takes in stride.
“Para sa amin din yun, para mas mag-grow kami, yung character namin as a player,” he added.
The breaks given him has somewhat restored his confidence, after no other PBA team took notice when his contract with KIA expired last season.
“Nadadagdagan din kasi binibgyan ako ng chance at playing time ni coach Yeng,” he said. “Ayoko namang sayagin kaya mas pinagbubutihan ko talaga.”