Only one thing changed all of that: why, basketball of course! Last November 14, BuhayBasket went to Barangay Igulot in Bocaue, Bulacan to watch the SPCB Alumni League championship game between Batch 99 and Batch 09. It was a heated battle that even went into overtime. But in the end, the kuyas snagged the win, 80-76 behind the strong inside play of tournament MVP Joboy Mendoza and forward Bien De La Cruz. There were also the roaring cheers of their wives, kids, and batchmates, which kept them charged up in the pulsating game.
The victors showed how their passion for hoops brought them back together, won them a trophy, and created a tighter bond.
“Nag-post ako sa Facebook about this tournament and ‘dun na nabuo ‘yung grupo. We started practicing, medyo rough sa simula pero nagbago ‘yun after naming manalo ng tune-up game against sa isang malakas na team. When it came to the games, nakakatuwa, kasi lahat kami willing mag-sacrifice para manalo. Si Jaime Reyes, yung isa naming magaling na guard, bumabiyahe pa from Cavite to Bulacan para sa ‘min. Never ako nag-champion sa mga liga na nasalihan ko before pero naramdaman ko na dito ko na ‘yun makukuha at nangyari naman, ” said Batch 99 playing-coach Jayson Santiago.
“Through this basketball event ng alma mater namin, na-rekindle ‘yung friendship, hindi lang with teammates pati na rin sa mga batchmate na sumuporta. Kahit ilang years na ‘yung nakaraan, bumalik ‘yung old memories kaya sobrang nakakabata ‘yung pakiramdam every practice and during games. Wala palang hadlang sa paglalaro at sa paggawa ng bagong memories with each other,” added Gio Mariano, one of the team’s top scorers.
“Maganda ‘yung nasimulang samahan. Walang kontrabida, lahat bida. From teammates, naging brotherhood. Sana tuluy-tuloy na ang samahan at mas lalo pa naming mapalaki. Regular na ‘papawis’ schedule sa isang court, ayos na,” Batch 99 starting point guard Ronly Perez told BuhayBasket.
Renewed friendships, good times, and sweet memories to last a lifetime, not in an overly dramatic, ultra-cheesy setting, but simply, in a basketball game. Congratulations, Batch 99!