Wheelchair-bound coach inspires CDO: 'Kung nagawa ko, bakit kayo, hindi?'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 22, 2019 05:30 PM
Wheelchair-bound coach: 'Kung nagawa ko, bakit kayo, hindi?'
Paraplegic head coach Rey Dangcal just keeps moving forward (Photo courtesy of Randolph Leongson)

Southern Philippine Colleges-CDO's Cinderella run in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM has come to a close.

The Sharks bowed to San Beda High School in the Supreme 16, just a day after upsetting AusPinoy in the Super 32.

Still, the Round of 16 finish is a big milestone for a school that is only beginning to make noise in their own region. "This is very important kasi ito yung meter namin if we really belong here. Luckily, we got a win naman so credit to the boys for giving everything," head coach Rey Dangcal said.

After all, just to get to the week-long tournament at SM MOA Arena, they had to upend regional power Assumption Montessori School. For reference, that was the team that won the NBTC Division 2 championship just two years ago.

Of course, SPC had all the inspiration in the world to get here and go farther than expected - as their head coach himself didn't let anything stop him from getting here and going farther than expected.

Coach Rey has been wheelchair-bound for more than 11 years after a motorcycle accident made him paraplegic.

He needs no pushing from others as he uses an electric wheelchair. More than that, he has always tried to use his own strength even while he calls the shots for the Cagayan de Oro-based school for five years now.

Without a doubt, the fact that he remains passionate is more than enough push for his boys to do the same. "From the start pa lang, mula sa practices namin, isa lang sinasabi ko sa mga bata. 'Kung ako, walang dahilan para makarating sa gusto nating gawin, bakit kayo,hindi,'" he shared.

He then continued, "'Kung ako nga, nagawa ko, bakit kayo, hindi? Kung ako nga, hindi ako nale-late sa practice, bakit kayo male-late? Anong rason, walang rason 'di ba?'"

Indeed, the Sharks' inspired play on their way and during the tournament is grounded on the fact that their mentor isn't about to stop moving forward because of his disability. "Mino-motivate ko lang sila palagi na positive lang. Ganun lang lagi," he said.

In the end, SPC may not have won it all in the national championship for high school, but they and their head coach have won the hearts of just about everybody. "Of course, ito po yung pinaka-biggest naming achievement. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng sumuporta sa amin," Coach Rey said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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