Amidst PBA offers, MPBL MVP Banal says he's happy in Bacoor

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 24, 2019 06:14 PM
Amidst PBA offers, MPBL MVP Banal says he's happy in Bacoor
Gab Banal has several squads expressing interest in his all-around game (FILE PHOTO)

Gab Banal was hailed as the top individual player in the 26-team MPBL Datu Cup.

Yes, among 26 teams, among a minimum of 300 players, Banal wound up as the best of the best and was awarded the MVP, Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre.

For the versatile forward himself, the trophy is a worthy prize for all the hard work he had put in the almost year-long tournament. "This means a lot to me especially since this is my first MVP award," he shared.

This is also the culmination of a strong 11-month stretch personally which saw him win a title with Go for Gold in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, serve as key cog for the IECO Green Warriors in the 2018 Asia League Terrific 12 and Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2019 Dubai International Basketball Championship, and then shine bright in the MPBL Datu Cup.

Still, it was only in the regional league where Banal finally put it all together and put up per game counts of 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 6.4 assists all while leading the upstart Strikers to a 13-12 record and a semifinals finish in MPBL South.

That was more than enough for him to edge out 10-year PBA veteran Mark Yee of Davao Occidental for the top individual award.

"It's good that there's an MPBL because players like me are given the opportunity to showcase our talent. It's an honor for me to play for Bacoor," the now 27-year-old said. "It's really different when you're given the confidence and trust of the management, the coaches, the fans, and your teammates. Because of that, umangat yung laro ko."

That was also more than enough for quite a few PBA teams to express interest in signing him. "Maraming lumalapit sa aking ibang MPBL teams and may offers din sa PBA," he said.

Banal played for Globalport back in 2016.

Still, he made it clear that he is thankful for where he is at this point in time. "I'm happy where I am right now. It's always a privilege to play in the PBA and if there's an offer I can't refuse, then why not," he said.

He then continued, "But as of now, I'm happy in Bacoor."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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