NO SILENT NIGHTS. Phoenix gets a Merry Christmas after emotional win
Paul Lintag on Dec 21, 2016 07:37 PM
TEARS OF JOY. Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia found redemption after his team took a hard-fought win against Meralco following two losses by a combined 63 points.
Losing can take a toll on basketball teams. Naturally, losing big takes a bigger toll.
However, taking beatings by a combined 63 points around the holidays tend to cut a deeper wound.
That's exactly what happened to the Phoenix Fuel Masters which made their team Christmas party eerily silent.
"Kasi nag-Christmas Party kami, ang tahimik eh. Kasama namin ang mga pamilya namin, pero ang tahimik. Para sa akin, being the father of the team, masakit kasi di kami makapag-saya," said head coach Ariel Vanguardia as his squad came into the Meralco game Wednesday coming off two straight blowouts.
"Sabi ko sa kanila, kaya Pasko kasi it's the birth of our savior, so dapat masaya tayo. Sa nilalaro natin kasi, masama yung ano natin, isang panalo lang yan, mag-iiba na. So ito nga, we gutted it out, thank God, and on to the next one. At least na-break namin yung skid," he added with the Fuel Masters taking a tough 94-90 decision against the Bolts.
With emotions kicking in, Vanguardia couldn't help but shed a tear or two while talking to the media following their win, a victory he says is the start of a new six-game campaign for Phoenix in the Philippine Cup.
"Medyo [tears of joy] kasi ayun nga, kasama ko yung daughter ko, kasama nila 'yung mga pamilya nila, nag-Christmas party kami. It was probably the most silent Christmas party. 'Di naman silent night, pero kasi nga, there's nothing to celebrate, pero sabi ko sa kanila [players], kailangan pa rin mag-celebrate tayo kasi Pasko eh, 'di ba? It's our Lord and Savior's birthday, redemption," he said.
With their Christmas a little better now, Vanguardia is hoping his team can have a better new year and a new 2-0 record as the Fuel Masters still have another game on deck before the year ends.
"So, isang panalo lang ito na pagtulong-tulongan natin, mae-erase 'yung mga ibang talo natin. So 'yun lang, at least 1-0 dito sa last six games, we have a chance again next game. 'Yun lang, at least it's God's gift to our team, and God's gift to Phoenix and to our families," he said.
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