MPBL: Bacoor's Gab Banal eyeing a different MVP trophy in Lakan Cup
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 11, 2019 04:55 PM
"I’m aiming for the Finals MVP because that means we’re in the championship. That means that we won, so I’m aiming for that," - Gab Banal
Talk about an impressive maiden season.
Bacoor City Strikers main gunner Gab Banal not only led the expansion team to the Southern Division semifinals, but he was also able to claim Most Valuable Player honors with an impressive 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 6.4 assists.
Heading into the 2019 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup, Banal isn't resting on his laurels and is planning on getting even better.
"It’s hard to get at the top, and it’s even harder to stay at the top. Everyone’s coming after you," said Banal. "Personally, I made the decision to work harder and work smarter than the previous season. It’s going to be tough, the pressure is on me since I’m the reigning MVP, but I’m just going to focus on the task at hand and enjoy playing the game of basketball and not let other factors affect my game."
Banal knows fully well that he will be the primary target for the other teams this coming conference, but with a number of key additions, the reigning MVP is expecting other players to step up.
"It’s going to be there, the pressure, Im going to be on the hit list of the other teams, the number one scouting report is going to be me, but I just have to involve my teammates better and sometimes I just have to be a decoy, because now we have deeper players and even more talented than the last time, so I just have to involve my teammates more, so when you say Bacoor, it’s not just me, but the whole team."
For the upcoming season, Banal maintains that the focus is on making it past the Southern Division semifinals and hopefully making the National Finals, and even possibly taking home the title.
"Of course, for me that’s to win a championship. An individual award is a nice feeling, but at the end of the day, when you join a tournament, your focus is to win a championship, not to win the MVP. For me, it’s just a bonus. Right now, our team is really aiming for the championship, so I’ll just do my best to help the team win and if I win another MVP, it’s just a bonus."
While being hailed as the league's best player is definitely an amazing achievement, Banal has his sights set on an even more prestigious sort of MVP honor.
"I’m aiming for the Finals MVP because that means we’re in the championship. That means that we won, so I’m aiming for that," he concluded.