The reason he plays: CJ Isit’s mother flies in from Canada to watch the Final 4

Ceej Tantengco on Sep 28, 2016 09:09 PM
CJ Isit’s mother flies in from Canada to watch the Final 4
There's a running joke between mother and son; that something bad happens whenever she watches games live.

The Mapua Cardinals’ team captain CJ Isit changed his jersey number for his last playing year: 26, the birthday of his mother Meds Edisane Isit. The Canadian-born point guard has counted his mother as his reason to do well—and now, his source of inspiration is in Manila.

“I almost didn’t make it [to Manila], you know,” she shares, sitting courtside at the Mapua Pep Rally. “I was at the airport, but I got the gate wrong. I was just sitting there, and then when I checked my watch, it was already 4:27. ‘Wait, my flight’s at 4:25!’” There was no way she was missing her bunso’s last games as a Cardinal. Disregarding the cost, she booked another flight to Manila.

The joke between mother and son is that something bad happens whenever she watches games live. She’s been witness to several of her son’s injuries, and she was even there when the younger Isit was on the receiving end of a punch during an EAC-Mapua game in 2014.

The incident sparked a free-for-all bench-clearing brawl. Wracked with worry, she rushed to her son in the middle of the court. “Nawalan siya ng malay. I don’t even know how I jumped the barrier, because when I tried to go back, I couldn’t get over it anymore,” she recalls. “When he opened his eyes and saw me, he said, ‘you shouldn’t be [on the court.]’”

But speaking seriously, the point guard says having his mother in the audience is the best motivation he could possibly have. “It means so much. Hopefully we give her a good show!” he says. “I’m definitely gonna go hard for her.”

“I’ve supported him from day one, kaya sobra-sobra talaga ‘yung emotions ngayon,” his mother adds. “Hopefully he will go to PBA, since that’s always been his dream—to play at the highest level [he can].”

Of course, playing in the pros means they would spend even more time apart. But she doesn’t mind the sacrifice. “It’s all up to him. Of course it will be difficult [to keep living in different countries], but it’s his dream,” she says. “Whatever he decides to do, whatever happens with his career, I’ll be here to support him.”


The Mapua Cardinals face the Arellano Chiefs, while the Perpetual Altas face the San Beda Red Lions in the semi-finals of #NCAASeason92 this Friday. Don’t miss it! Games start at 1:45 PM, live on ABS-CBN S+A. Livestream here.

Ceej Tantengco is an NCAA Courtside Reporter. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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