USE CEBU NIÑOS AGAIN?
Cebuano basketball personalities come to defense of Cebu City Sharks; former pro Roger Yap suggests going back to team’s famous moniker
Several prominent Cebuano basketball personalities have come to the rescue of the beleaguered Cebu City Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol after their humiliating performance on Tuesday night against the Manila Stars in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup.
In the first period of what was eventually a 107-76 loss, the Sharks failed to score a single point to go down 0-27. The ignominious scoring drought earned both ire and ridicule from basketball fans, from Cebu and the rest of the country.
Ironically, it was Cebuano Roger Yap, who was on the other side of that basketball beating, that leapt to the defense of the Sharks, posting on his Facebook account:
“Sa tanan mga Cebuano. Nag post or nag comment sa game last night. Sa tinood lang nasakitan pod ko nahitabo sa game ug nalooy ko sa Cebu Sharks labi na sa mga players. Ako ihangyo lang sa mga fans na ayaw lang ninyo sila husgahi sa game gabii. Dili pod lalim baya sa side sa mga players. Karon ang angay buhaton ninyo ipadayon lang ninyo suporta sa ilaha. Labi na karon na sobra sila ka down sa result game gabii,” said the former University of San Jose-Recoletos cager.
(To all Cebuanos who posted or made a comment about the game last night. To be honest, I was also hurt with what happened in the game. And I pity the Cebu Sharks, especially the players. My request to all the fans is not to judge them with their performance in that game. It’s not easy for the players. What you can do now is to continue supporting them, especially since they are feeling down with the result of that game last night.)
He also asked for fans to be more patient with the Sharks’ coaching staff and had an intriguing request for the company that is backing the Sharks.
“Hangyo lang unta ko sa team Cebu IPI. Kung pwede i-change ang name sa inyong team. Gamita lang ninyo ang name sa atong Balaang Bata nga si Sr. Sto. Niño. Dapat ibalik ang Cebu Niños Team.”
(My request to team Cebu IPI. If it’s possible, change the name of your team. Use the name of the Holy Child who is Sr. Sto. Niño. The Cebu Niños Team should be used again.)
Yayoy Alcoseba, unarguably Cebu’s most successful basketball coach who had led the Niños to a national title in the Liga Pilipinas, also suggested that the Sharks needed to do two things to get their acts together: scout their opponents and formulate a good game plan.
He added that they also needed to get back to playing what has been Cebu basketball’s calling card: good, solid defense.
The current head coach of the University of Cebu even said he would consider being a team consultant just to help Cebu’s team out.
Cebuano legend Dondon Hontiveros, who once represented Cebu as a stud for the Cebu Gems in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association, said that what happened was “unfortunate” and the only way to get over it is to come back strong in their next game.
“Obviously you can’t do it overnight, but having the team bond is a start. With them being closer, it won’t be awkward discussing what needs to be done,” said the “Cebuano Hotshot.”
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