ROME Dela Rosa certainly has a very merry Christmas this year after finally scoring a breakthrough championship in the PBA.
It’s just unfortunate he had to pull it off against the very same team that first gave him the break as a pro.
Dela Rosa was truly ecstatic after Magnolia Pambansang Manok captured the PBA Governors Cup championship, beating Alaska in six games.
It was the first title in six finals appearances in four seasons for the 28-year-old Dela Rosa.
“I can be called a PBA champion now. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been gunning for it ever since getting into the PBA. It’s really a blessing from God,” said Dela Rosa before leaving for the US with his family to celebrate the holiday season.
But while thrilled with his first ever championship, his heart also bleeds for Alaska, the very same team which picked him in the second round (13th overall) of the 2014 rookie draft.
With the Aces, Dela Rosa made the finals four times but always finished runner-up in all those championship appearances.
So he can’t help but also felt for his former teammates and coach Alex Compton when everything was over.
“It’s just tough seeing Alaska on the other side, that’s the team that drafted me,” said the son of former PBA player Romy Dela Rosa. “Hats off to them, they played a heck of a conference.”
Dela Rosa remained humble in victory as he tried to seek out his former Alaska teammates, especially Jake Pascual, the same player who the Aces acquired after pushing the trade button in 2016 that sent Rome to the Hotshots.
Dela Rosa and Pascual go a long way back during their days with San Beda where they won four NCAA men’s basketball championships together.
“I hugged Kuya Jake, kumpare ko yan. And I love the guy,” he said of the 6-foot-4 Pascual, with who Dela Rosa is very happy after doing well with the Aces this season.
Rome also got a congratulatory text message from Noy Baclao afterwards, the veteran forward out of Ateneo also a good friend of him.
But that’s how life goes on, according to Dela Rosa. You win some, you lose some.
“That’s how the game works, someone’s going to come out on top. And me, I’m just thankful na kami yun,” he said.
Dela Rosa and his family will spend the rest of the holiday season in San Diego, California where his parents are waiting for him.
Other than celebrating his career milestone, Rome will also take the opportunity to rest and get ready for the league’s coming 44th season.
“I’m excited. I’ll get a little break, it’s been a long season,” he said.
You deserve the rest, champ.