JERIE Pingoy was an emotional mess on Wednesday as he watched from ringside while his present team Ateneo suffered a heartbreaker against his former school Far Eastern University in overtime, 79-75.
Although the former UAAP juniors MVP sat behind the Blue Eagles’ bench and wore a blue Ateneo polo shirt, Pingoy hummed along as the FEU school hymn was sang shortly after the Tamaraws' win.
“Syempre nanggaling din ako doon (sa FEU). School ko din 'yun, respeto ko na lang," Pingoy said, as if trying to explain himself.
But the Ateneo freshman, whose transfer from Morayta to Katipunan triggered a controversy that led to new residency rules on player transfers, admitted it was hard for him watching the game from ringside as the two teams battled it out for the full 40 minutes of regulation and an extra five minutes at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Siyempre... ang hirap i-explain!” he said.
For a time during the post-game interview with Spin.ph, the 18-year-old son of former PBA player Jerry Pingoy had a hard time gathering his thoughts, but nonetheless tried his best to put them into words.
“Naghihinayang ako kasi hati 'yung pakiramdam eh,” said the former two-time UAAP juniors MVP who led the Baby Tamaraws to the UAAP juniors championship in his final playing year.
“Nanghihinayang kasi ito school ko ngayon, Ateneo, at 'yung dati kong school. Proud din ako na nanalo ang FEU kasi mostly naman friends ko sila.”
The Cebuano guard said he is emotionally attached to both teams, happy that FEU won and sad with Ateneo’s loss.
“Hati talaga 'yung feeling,” he said. “May masayang part at malungkot na part. Nagchi-cheer ako sa isa, tapos nagchi-cheer din sa isa pa. Ang gulo 'di ba?" he said.
(For full game story, click Romeo, Pogoy star as FEU Tamaraws outlast Blue Eagles in overtime.)
Despite the new two-year UAAP residency rule for freshmen and FEU's refusal to grant him a release that would have enabled him to suit up for the Blue Eagles this season, Pingoy insisted he harbors no ill feelings toward his former team and is genuinely happy for his former teammates.
“Ok naman kasi good friends naman ako sa kanila,” he said.