Fil-Am Urbiztondo proves to be Singapore’s silencer in Bulacan
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 09, 2017 06:32 PM
A LITTLE EXTRA. Fil-Am Josh Urbiztondo was the enemy to a full-house crowd in Bulacan, but was also the hero for Singapore and for his family who were watching live.
Alab Pilipinas were trailing for the most part in their do-or-die Game 2 against Singapore last Friday.
Still, the Filipinos fought with their all and Kiefer Ravena even pulled them to as close as six points late in the third quarter.
It was at that point, however, that Josh Urbiztondo steadied the ship for the Slingers before ultimately sending them into the Finals.
There, the Filipino-American Asean Heritage Import had five straight points that capped off what proved to be the pivotal push that ended the season of his kababayans. “It was a good thing we were able to get the crowd a little quiet because (Alab) really got back into the game,” he expressed post-game.
More than the points, Urbiztondo’s leadership was also key in Singapore’s sweeping of the semifinals series. “We knew they were gonna make a run here in the Philippines so I just grabbed the guys together and just said we should keep our heads high,” he said.
He then continued, “It’s gonna be a dogfight so nothing’s gonna be easy. I was then lucky to hit crucial buckets and we just got on from there.”
In the end, the 34-year-old had 20 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds. This, all while running the ship that also included American reinforcements Xavier Alexander and Justin Howard.
Of course, Urbiztondo wasn’t about to deny the fact that playing in front – and more than that, up against – his kababayans gave him added motivation. “You know, as players, we just approach the game the same way. That’s what we do as professionals,” he said.
He then continued, “But, of course, playing against the Philippines, it just brings a little bit of intensity. It motivates me.”
While he was the enemy to a full-house crowd in Bulacan, the Singapore pointman was nothing but glad to have put on a show for his family and friends. “I was very inspired. It’s just amazing to come back and to play in front of my wife and two kids,” he said.
He then continued, “It’s not easy going overseas and being away from your family. Coming back home, playing in front of these fans, it’s just truly a blessing.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.