LSGH will try to win first title without ‘game-changer’ Fornilos

LSGH will try to win first title without Fornilos
ABSENT. Inand Fornilos will have to watch from far away when his teammates in CSB-LSGH try to close out their championship series against Mapua.

College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills will be without Inand Fornilos in Game 2 of its best-of-three championship series against Mapua University

That’s a big blow for the Junior Blazers who have been playing so well and are on the cusp of their very first title.

Fornilos will be serving a one-game suspension for incurring a disqualifying foul in Game 1.

In the third quarter, the freshly-minted Rookie of the Year got entangled with Red Robin Will Gozum during a rebounding sequence. After all the commotion, referees assessed a disqualifying foul and sent the former back to the locker room.

While CSB-LSGH still managed to pull off a 74-68 shocker of a win, they most certainly would have welcomed full-time contributions from Fornilos who still had 14 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks in 16 minutes of play.

That is exactly why, right after the game, head coach Marvin Bienvenida said that they will appeal for his disqualifying foul to be downgraded.

Unfortunately, the league upheld the call of its game officials.

And so, the already undersized Junior Blazers will have to go at it up against Mapua and its Mythical Twin Towers without Fornilos.

While point guard Joel Cagulangan has been the hero all season long for CSB-LSGH, he wouldn’t have been able to do much of his heroics without the non-stop motor of their transferee from University of Sto. Tomas.

Indeed, even opposing coaches have said that Fornilos’ arrival has made the Junior Blazers as formidable as ever. San Beda High School mentor JB Sison even said then, “Iba yung dinala sa kanila nung Fornilos.”

Asked about such comments, the six-foot-two forward answered, “Thank you na ganun yung tingin nila, pero ako, I’m just doing my job. Basta sa ilalim, makikipagpatayan, ibibigay ko lahat.”

He then continued, “There’s nothing else. Gusto ko lang manalo.”

Pressed further, Fornilos believes he has brought some sort of toughness to CSB-LSGH. “Siguro, dati kasi, wala silang inside presence. Sabi ni coach, ngayon, ako ang nagdala nun,” he shared.

And while he would not be able to bring that inside presence to Game 2, the 18-year-old said he has full faith that his teammates can pull off the series sweep. “Kayang-kaya naman nila yan kasi team naman ang naglalaro,” he expressed.

And if the Junior Blazers fail to close it out in Game 2, they will be back to full strength in the succeeding do-or-die matchup as Fornilos will be available to play again by then.

That’s some silver lining for the boys from Greenhills.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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