UNIVERSITY of the East big man Charles Mammie couldn’t help but become emotional moments after the Red Warriors completed a come-from-behind win against De La Salle in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament Saturday.
Can’t blame him.
Just like the Warriors who fought back to beat the Green Archers, 85-83, Mammie also had to endure obstacles along the way before finally suiting up for the team this season.
First, there was the question on his eligibility. And just when he was finally settling in, there came the one-game suspension on him for an unsportsmanlike foul that cost the Warriors a 77-88 loss to University of Santo Tomas.
No wonder Mammie was moved by the stunning win of the Warriors, which he said best captures his own story.
“I was emotional after the game it's because I had a long journey,” said Mammie to Spin.ph. “I was suspended and before the season there were controversies.
“I am far away from home, I'm far from my mom who motivates me and consoles me,” he added.
The UE center from Sierra Leone was down on his knees and could not hold back his tears as the Warriors and their supporters sang their school hymn at the end of the match.
The Recto-based squad evened its record at 3-3.
Coach Boyzie Zamar understands Mammie's situation.
“He's been through a lot, suspension, bago mag-start ang season may problema pa sa documents,” said the veteran coach. “Charles Mammie is a 20-year old guy, stands at 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9, and yet cries like a baby.”
Mammie’s double-double performance of 19 points and 16 rebounds was his way of showing his willingness to help the team he considers his family in a foreign land.
“They (teammates and coaches) are my family here,” he said. “They believe in me so I must believe in myself also.
“I just want to win the game,” he said. “I played with heart. I don't give up even if they (La Salle) push me and hurt me, it's okay with me. I'm cool with that as long as we win.”