Against all odds, Verdida builds a champion team
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Ricky Verdida’s Cinderella story reached its climax when his KCS Computer Specialists-Mandaue City team, despite all odds, bagged the Visayas crown of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
The Computer Specialists ruled the inaugural season of the professional league by defeating the vaunted MJAS Zenith Talisay City Aquastars in the do-or-die Game 3 of the Finals on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
With the win, the Specialists earned the right to compete for the Grand Finals against whoever wins the Mindanao leg, which starts soon.
For the meantime, the 40-year old Verdida, a native of Mandaue City best known for his inspiring rags-to-riches story, is enjoying the title win against a team they lost to twice in the elimination round.
“Dili kabayran akong kalipay karon,” Verdida told CDN Digital a day after the team routed the Aquastars, 89-75.
(Nothing can compare to the happiness I am feeling now.)
For winning the Visayas crown, Verdida and the Specialists pocketed a whopping P500,000.
Verdida said what makes the title sweeter is looking back at all the challenges the team faced before and during the tournament.
“Grabe akong kalipay karon nga naangkon namo ang kampyonato against all odds. Grabe among naagian. Financially, lisud kaayo to the point nga gi sacrifice na nako tanan. Pero the Lord really sees our heart. Iyaha jud ni gihatag para namo, so, pasalamat kaayo ko sa atong Ginoo,” he said.
(I am very happy now that we won the championship against all odds. We’ve been through a lot. Financially, it was very difficult to the point that I sacrificed everything. But the Lord really sees our heart. He really gave this to us so I thank Him very much.)
Verdida considers himself a low-budget basketball team owner compared to other teams, which had marquee sponsors and, on top of that, the full support of their chosen local government units.
He did not have any major sponsors and the support of the LGU. He earlier revealed that both Mandaue City and Cebu City turned his offer down to partner with him in the league. But still, as a son of Mandaue City, Verdida represented his hometown in the league despite not getting any support.
He said that he had no hard feelings for the LGUs who turned him down.
“Para nako, okay ra nako nga wala sila naka sponsor. Mas malipayon lang ko karon sa naabot namo ug nako sa pagpaningkamot namo,” Verdida said.
(For me, it’s okay that they didn’t sponsor us. We’re happier with what we’ve achieved now through our determination and effort.)
“Amo ra gipakita sa tanan nga we can do more sa team. Tungod sa trust ug sa close relationship namo sa matag usa from players to staff, nakaya namo tanan challenges.”
(We just proved that we can do more as a team. Because of the trust and the close remationship with each other from players to the staff, we were able to overcome the challenges.)
Verdida, though, said he will be searching for potential sponsors who can help the team in the grand finals later this year. He is planning to tap sponsors that can help them logistically in their preparation.
He also said that he is mulling that his team pay a courtesy call to Mayor City Mayor Jonas Cortes once they return from Alcantara.
He said a courtesy call would be a perfect opportunity for his team to get support from the LGU.
He believes that there’s a possibility that they didn’t get the support from the Mandaue LGU because their requests didn’t get to Mayor Cortez on time.
For now, though, Verdida said he and his team will celebrate their victory in Alcantara. He thanks all the Mandaue City fans who supported them from day one.
“Salamat kaayo sa mga solid fans namo diha sa Mandaue City sa ilang pagsalig namo hangtod naabot mi ug finals ug nahimo ming champion sa Visayas leg.
He is asking for more support as his team still aims for the overall crown of the VisMin Cup this August.
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