Ababou on the death of former UST coach: Akala ko di totoo
Paul Lintag on Apr 12, 2017 08:42 PM
"Yung four years ko, assistant coach namin siya sa UST. Kasama rin siya dun sa champion team namin ng 2006. Vital member talaga siya nung coaching staff tsaka nung team."--- Dylan Ababou on Senen Dueñas.
It was quite an emotional Holy Wednesday for Globalport as the team went to battle in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup after losing assistant coach Senen Dueñas early in the day.
Dueñas passed away Wednesday morning after succumbing to complications following a recent surgery. He was 52.
The Batang Pier responded with a fitting send-off for their fallen coach, winning the team's first game in the mid-season conference by taking down the NLEX Road Warriors, 85-82.
Dylan Ababou, recently acquired by Globalport via trade but is perhaps the closest Batang Pier to Dueñas due to their history with the UST Growling Tigers, fondly remembered the "Drillmaster" who was on deck as UST made it to four UAAP Finals since 2006.
"Yung four years ko, assistant coach namin siya sa UST. Kasama rin siya dun sa champion team namin ng 2006. Vital member talaga siya nung coaching staff tsaka nung team," Ababou said when asked about Dueñas.
"Actually, kahapon ng mga 1 p.m., dinalaw ko pa siya. Tinanong ko siya kung kilala niya ako, sinabi naman pangalan ko. Pero parang gusto niya matulog tapos kumbaga bubukas yung mata tapos pipikit ulit kasi nahihilo-hilo nga siya dahil dun sa surgery tsaka siguro yung mga pinapa-inom sa kanya na gamot. Pero okay pa siya eh, di nga namin akalain. Pag-gising ko this morning ang dami na nagte-text sakin akala ko di totoo," he added.
Naturally, Ababou remembers Dueñas pretty well not only because they won a UAAP title together but especially because of one moment in 2009, Dylan's final season with the Growling Tigers.
Ababou, who also won the UAAP MVP that year in leading the Tigers to the Final Four, found out how great of a person Dueñas is on that random day.
"Siya yung tipo ng coach na sobrang hirap magpa-practice talaga. Tapos nung papunta na kaming Final Four, pinulong niya kaming lahat tapos kinausap niya lahat kami," Ababou recalled.
"Maya-maya umiiyak na siya so nagulat kami bakit umiiyak si coach Senen. Tapos sinabi niya kaya ko lang naman kayo pinapahirapan kasi mahal na mahal ko kayo, para pagdating niyo sa ibang coaches, pagdating niyo sa PBL, sa national team, sa PBA, sanay na kayo sa mga mahihirap na training tsaka mababagsik na coaches. Kumbaga hinahanda ko kayo sa future, yung character niyo yung ine-enhance ko," Dylan said, remembering the words of his late coach.
"So ayun natouch kami dun, yun yung unforgettable talaga na experience kay coach Senen," he added.
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