A FIRST win in the PBA certainly is cause for celebration.
So on the night Globalport posted its breakthrough win in the Philippine Cup, owner Mikee Romero was gracious enough to treat his team to a special dinner at the Taoyuan Chinese Restaurant at the Resort’s World Manila.
Team manager BJ Manalo was thrilled to give Romero a quick call the moment Globalport wrapped up its 105-104 squeaker over Meralco in their Philippine Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday night.
Romero, the man behind the success of Harbour Centre in the defunct Philippine Basketball League, wasn’t at the venue to witness his team pull off the come-from-behind win. But he did join them later for dinner to celebrate the win with the players.
“Labas lang kami because a first win deserves to be celebrated,” a beaming Manalo said. “Such a hard-earned win, especially with our first three losses.”
Gary David, the other half of Globalport’s dynamic duo together with Willie Miller, didn’t see action for the second straight game owing to a left knee injury. But he was happy to serve as the team’s cheerleader from the sideline.
“Iba talaga ang feeling na makakuha ng unang panalo. Mas mataas ang morale ng team,” he said. “Malaking bagay ito going sa next game namin sa Rain or Shine.”
Breaking through the win column was the hardest thing to do, according to PBA rookie mentor Glenn Capacio who has painstakingly preached defense and hard work during the Batang Pier’s first 17 days together in the pro league.
“Napakahirap talagang manalo dito. Lahat ng teams malalakas,” said the former top defensive player.
Manalo said Capacio and his coaching staff have set a modest goal of at least making it to the quarterfinals right on its first sojourn in Asia’s first ever pro league.
David noted the Batang Pier’s chemistry was tested after losing their first three games to open the season.
But instead of breaking apart, the players pulled together and encouraged one another, according to David, last year’s scoring leader.
Benched during the team’s second outing against Air21, Rabeh Al-Hussaini had been playing splendidly the past two games, averaging 17 points. He also hit the two crucial charities in the last five seconds that sealed Globalport’s win over Meralco.
“Lagi ko lang sinasabi kay Rabeh na i-sustain niya lang `yung magandang pinapakita niya at mag-focus lang sa paglalaro, huwag lang magpapa-distract,” said David of the former Rookie of the Year.