ON Tuesday night, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters officially booked their ticket to quarterfinals after escaping TnT, 80-74.
Among the consistent playmakers who helped to bring their record to 6-4 (while still gunning for a seventh win on Wednesday night) is the young and enthusiastic forward Javee Mocon, who has averaged 11.09 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 10 games.
The 25-year-old San Beda University graduate sure knew how to take matters in his own hands whenever RoS needs him. He is one of the youngsters playing a crucial role in balancing the team's veteran-laden roster,
Drafted in 2018, Mocon, so far, has been showing great consistency. During last night's game, he contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists for the Elasto Painters.
But it's been a most difficult conference, the young gun confessed.
"Honestly, ito siguro ang pinakamahirap na season sa buong history ng PBA, kasi you don't have your loved ones with you. You can't do your own routine, [you have] limited court and gym time," he told SPIN Life.
Which is why securing that quarterfinals ticket is enough motivation for the whole team to give more.
"Everyone sacrificed a lot. Itong playoff run namin, we dedicate to our families. The only reason why we came here sa bubble is to win games, and get a chance to get that elusive championship for Rain or Shine," he said.
While he revealed that the whole team's been working to improve on their offense heading into the playoffs, Mocon revealed that it's been an even a tougher battle outside the court.
If there's a word Mocon would use to describe the bubble, it would be "nakakabaliw."
"There are days na nasa room ka lang, di mo alam gagawin kasi nga di ka makalabas, para kang robot kasi everything is on the clock, 'yung food, practice, and weights," he said.
The 6-foot-3 Mocon, however, finds refuge in the company of his teammates and pals —the closest thing to family he has inside the bubble.
"The only thing siguro that's making me sane is 'yung mga teammates ko. Having a chat with them day in and day out. You realize here sa bubble na yung teammates mo kahit araw-araw kayo nagtatawanan sa practice, may mga sari-sariling silent battles na tinatago. You see a different side to them, and at the same time, lalong naging family yung samahan namin," he continued.
For more than a month inside the bubble, RoS has also proved to be one of the most interesting teams in Clark.
Early on, with both humorous and serious players in their lineup, their antics provided some much-needed chuckles... as well as solid performances when it mattered most.