ONE: 'Para din tayong lumaban sa Manila' - New champ Geje Eustaquio overwhelmed by Pinoy fan support in Macau
Santino Honasan on Jun 25, 2018 12:11 PM
“I’m so much overwhelmed. Para din tayong lumaban sa Manila.” (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Deep into the third, fourth, and fifth rounds of his ONE Championship World Flyweight Title unification bout against then-champion Adriano Moraes, Team Lakay star Geje ‘Gravity’ Eustaquio was pushed to the limit.
Caught in some deep submission attempts at times during the fight, Eustaquio managed to power out, and every time he did, he’d get a boost of energy to keep fighting even harder.
From the adrenaline? probably.
Another thing that kept Eustaquio going, and he’ll be the first one to say this, is the crowd support from a strong Filipino presence at the Studio City Events Center in Macau, China.
While a lot of Brazilian fans showed their support for Moraes, it was clear that the Pinoys won the cheering war as they willed Eustaquio on during the championship rounds, with their chants of Geje’s name.
“EUSTAQUIO! EUSTAQUIO! EUSTAQUIO!”
As the Pinoy crowd beat their Brazilian counterparts in the cheering war, so did Eustaquio inside the ring, as he went on to defeat Moraes via Split Decision and unify the ONE Championship Flyweight World Title.
“Fulfilling,” Eustaquio said, after accomplishing a 14-year dream of becoming a world champion. “And one more time, I’ms so much overwhelmed, and you saw how the crowd reacted here in Macau. It’s a Filipino fanbase, ang laki ng fanbase natin sa Macau.”
Just a less-than-an-hour ferry ride away from Hong Kong, a Southeast Asian country with a large population of Filipinos working or residing, Macau also has a sizeable number of Pinoys who are based there.
Plus, it’s only a two hour flight from Manila, so it isn’t hard to get there, which can help explain the number of Pinoy fans in attendance that night.
“I’m so much overwhelmed. Para din tayong lumaban sa Manila.”
When Geje fell into some dangerous situations, the crowd watched with nervous silence, and when he’d break free or manage to mount some offense of his own, the crowd was right there, cheering and chanting.
And when the official decision was announced in favor of the Baguio City native, the crowd erupted.
“It motivates me, and keeps my gas tank full,” Eustaquio said about hearing the support from the Pinoy crowd. “I hear them shouting my name, I hear them cheering it, makes me go forward.”
Eustaquio is a high-level striker with a fan-friendly yet not reckless style of fighting that will certainly attract even more fans, Pinoy or not.
And now that he’s the champion, expect him to become even more popular as his reign continues.