Awkward? Letran teams up with EAC in West’s All-Star win
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 22, 2015 06:56 PM
KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER. For one day, Mark Cruz and Letran played alongside the only team that has beaten them: EAC.
The underdog West took down the loaded East in the second annual NCAA All-Star Game last Friday at the San Juan Arena.
The East – composed last year’s semifinalists San Beda College, Arellano University, Jose Rizal University, and University of Perpetual Help together with San Sebastian College-Recoletos – was unable to stop a last-minute furious fightback by the West – made up of College of St. Benilde, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and current league-leaders Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
Yes, for one day, Letran wore the same uniform as EAC – the only team in the league who can say they broke through the pressure-packed walls of Intramuros. Asked about the colorful factoid, Rey Nambatac told ABS-CBN Sports, “Wala namang personalan dun. Actually, sila nga yung pinaka-close namin.”
Mark Cruz echoed his backcourt-mate’s sentiments as he said while laughing, “Kaibgan namin sila. Nagtatawanan lang. ‘Di na namin ino-open up yung natalo kami sa kanila.”
For their part, the Generals shared that they did not take advantage of the fact that they were the only ones who can tell the Knights they beat them. “’Di namin sila inasar e,” Sidney Onwubere said.
However, “Minion General” Francis Munsayac said that at first, they felt uncomfortable, especially with the West practice being held at the Letran gym and the team being coached by Letran coach Aldin Ayo. “Nung unang practice, sobrang na-awkward kami,” he said.
He then continued, “Pero after hours of practice, okay na naman. Nagkukulitan na rin.”
Nambatac said that he and the rest of the Knights went out of their way to make the EAC players feel welcome. “Napansin ko ngang nahihiya sila so ako na lumapit sa kanila. Nawala rin naman yung pagiging mahiyain nila kasi pinaparating ko sa kanilang wala yun,” he said.
The Knight was quick to add, however, “Babawian na lang namin sila sa second round.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.