REMORSEFUL but unapologetic, FEU senior Barkley Eboña had an unceremonious curtain call to his UAAP career, with an ejection in the first half of Tamaraws' do-or-die game against the UST Growling Tigers.
"Masakit na hindi ko man lang nakanta 'yung hymn namin sa last game ko," he said. "Hindi man lang ako naka-exit nang maayos. Masakit kasi siyempre alam ko senior ako e. Dapat role model ako sa team ko. Sinabi ni coach sa amin na dapat 'yung mga seniors 'yung hindi dapat unang mawalan ng disiplina."
Eboña, who played a full five years in the collegiate league, was sent back to the dugout after committing two unsportsmanlike fouls — one from an elbow on Soulemane Chabi Yo with 1:19 minutes left in the second quarter, with FEU down by 22 points, 49-27.
In a post-game interview, however, he stood his ground and contested the call: "Para sa akin, flop lang 'yun e. Naka-hands up lang ako tapos nung pagharap niya, biglang humiga siya then tayo kaagad. Parang ang nipis naman nun para sa thrown out agad. Matatanggap ko pa 'yun kung foul lang 'yun."
The 23-year-old forward had nine points and seven rebounds, while doing his best to lift the morale of his teammates by giving them a few words of encouragement during halftime.
This seemed to light a fire under the Tamaraws, who scored 27 in the third frame. Eboña said, "Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na kahit wala na ako, dapat hindi sila panghinaan ng loob. Mag-step up lahat ng ipapasok para sa community. Maglaro pa rin nang tama para at least sa dulo may chance pa."
Unfortunately, UST was able to hold off their furious rally and ultimately eliminated FEU, 81-71.