DIVER John Elmerson Fabriga said he wasn't offended by the negative response thrown at him and teammate JD Pahoyo following their failed performance in the recent 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Fabriga said he didn't feel totally down even after netizens made fun of him and Pahoyo after videos of their 'total fail' dives in the 3m springboard event of the SEA Games went viral.
The two later earned the moniker 'Splash Brothers' for the incident.
Instead, Fabriga said he is treating the public ridicule as inspiration to do better in future international competitions.
“Okay lang kasi natural lang ‘yun. Hindi ko dina-down sarili ko. Gagawin kong inspirasyon ‘yun para mag-train uli,” said Fabriga in an interview with Spin.ph when spotted on Monday near the bench of Hapee during Game Two of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup finals at the Ynares Sports Arena.
“Ayos lang po ‘yun,” Fabriga added, referring to the negative reaction. “Masaya pa rin po ako. Karapatan nila ‘yun.”
Brian Palattao, one of the members of the national diving team, admitted he was saddened by the reaction of the people, mostly ridiculing the two Filipino divers worldwide.
“Siyempre sumama rin po ang loob pero ganun po talaga, wala tayong magagawa,” said Palattao.
“Okay lang naman kasi mas magiging challenge pa ‘yun na pag-igihan nila,” he added.
In contrast to their earlier statements they only trained for four days for the biennial meet, Fabriga said he and Pahoyo had lengthy training in preparation for the Singapore Games.
“Matagal na po namin pinaghandaan ‘yun,” he said.
“Matagal kami nag-training,” Palattao butted in. “Almost a year din kami nag-train. Ganun talaga, may disgrasya. ‘Yun nga lang, dalawa pa sila.”
Fabriga, whose brother Rexel Ryan is a gold medalist in diving during the 2005 edition of the SEA Games held at the Trace Aquatics Center in Los Banos, Laguna, admitted nerves got the better of him as he competed against Southeast Asia’s finest at the OCBC Aquatics Center.
“Nailang lang ako sa camera,” said Fabriga, when asked what happened.
Despite the failed dive that earned the two divers a score of 0, Palattao said the team is hoping to compete in the Fina Diving Grand Prix competitions in Singapore and Malaysia.
“May balak kaming salihan, ‘yung Grand Prix sa Singapore at sa Malaysia this year kung maaprubahan ng PSC (Philippine Sports Commission). ‘Yun ang pinaghahandaan namin kasi qualifying din ‘yun sa Olympics,” said Palattao.
Fabriga, nonetheless, remains upbeat competing in major international competitions like the Grand Prix despite their unflattering performance in the SEA Games.
“May pinaghahandaan po kami. Tuluy-tuloy naman po training namin kahit wala kaming pinaghahandaan,” he said.
Fabriga also thanked their supporters who came to their defense.
“Masaya po kasi kahit ganun, naintindihan nila ‘yung side namin. Disgrasya po eh. Hindi natin alam kung kalian mangyayari ‘yun,” said Fabriga.