D-League champion Gab Banal: ‘My dad was enough motivation’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 23, 2018 08:39 PM
D-League champion Gab Banal: ‘My dad was enough motivation’
Gab Banal dedicated the biggest win of his career to his ailing father Joel

Gab Banal just missed out on the MVP in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

Go for Gold’s do-it-all forward was a few points shy of Che’Lu’s Jeff Viernes who was ultimately hailed as the top player in the tournament.

Apparently, that only fuelled Banal’s fire as the Scratchers and the Revellers battled in the decisive Game 5 of the Finals.

Head coach Charles Tiu thought so. “He took it personally ata e. I think this is the best game I’ve seen him play,” he kidded with reporters post-game.

Indeed, the former pro imposed his will all over with 31 points on top of six rebounds and four assists in their 102-92 win.

More than the almost-MVP, however, Banal said his inspired play was all because of his father. “When I lost the MVP, I told him I lost it and we lost the game so I said sorry. He just said focus on Game Five and that’s enough motivation for me to give my 100 percent,” he shared.

He then continued, “My dad was enough motivation.”

Gab’s father Joel, a well-regarded coach and current consultant for PBA D-League team Marinerong Pilipino, suffered a heart attack last Sunday.

Ever since then, the younger Banal had been dedicating all his games to his father. “I offer this game and all my games to him. I offer our championship to him,” he remarked.

For more good news, Gab said that father Joel is doing okay – even though he would have to undergo another surgery a week from now. “He’s okay, he’s recovering. I hope we still keep him in our prayers,” he said.

Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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