TEARS flowed amid the fun and laughter during a tribute game for the late former San Beda Red Cub Coi Mendoza.
Mendoza’s parents, Roger and Louie, were overcome with emotion and could only express their gratitude to the college basketball stars and celebrities who banded together for the charity game at The Arena in San Juan.
The benefit game dubbed 'Play for Coi' was initially put together by former San Beda teammates to help Mendoza in his battle against lymphoma. The former Red Cub passed away at the age of 24 before the game could be staged.
Organizers led by Anton Altamirano proceeded with the game to help defray the cost of Mendoza's hospitalization which reached P2 million.
“I’m overwhelmed by the reception,” said his father Roger in Filipino while in tears as he addressed the crowd on hand during halftime of the charity match.
The Red team put on a show for the fans by beating Blue, 124-113, in a game that featured college standouts Bobby Ray Parks, Jeron Teng, Troy Rosario, Baser Amer, Arnold Van Opstal, and Alfred Aroga.
Celebrities who suited up included John Prats and Jhong Hilario.
Days prior to the game, several items were also auctioned off to help raise funds for the event including signed Manny Pacquiao gloves, Alyssa Valdez shirts, and a Denden Lazaro jersey.
In the side event, Chris Newsome of Ateneo and Hapee won the slam dunk contest, scoring 50 points in all but one attempt.