Soldier’s son from Cagayan de Oro felt fulfilled by third championship with Cignal HD Spikers
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 22, 2017 02:29 PM
Herschel Ramos and Ysay Marasigan (foreground) lock each other in a bear hug while the trio of Alexis Faytaren, Peter Torres, and Edmar Bonono behind them (right) jump in joy to celebrate Cignal Tv’s title victory Wednesday over Mega Builders in Game 3 of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference finals.
Team captain Saku Capate and Vince Mangulabnan of Cignal got their wish – to add the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference championship to the former’s MVP award and to the latter’s best setter trophy.
Surprised and inspired by the unannounced appearance of his wife Bang and four-year-old only child Oyo in the winner-take-all match between the HD Spikers and the Sta. Elena-backed Mega Builders, Capate went on to bag the Finals MVP as well.
Best libero Sandy Montero of Imus, Cavite, could have been as overjoyed as Capate and Vince Mangulabnan, but perhaps none of them could have matched the depth of happiness and self-fulfillment that their teammate from Cagayan de Oro, Edmar Bonono, a former beach volley specialist and a soldier’s son, felt over Cignal’s second straight title this season.
Relegated to being a first-choice replacement during the elimination round of the Open Conference, Coach Oliver Almadro started the high-leaping Bonono in the semifinals against the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls while the one Bonono replaced, Mark Alfafara, was away with the national team’s training camp in Korea.
Almadro, architect of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ three-peat in the UAAP, was so obviously impressed by Bonono’s performance that he gambled on using him thru the best-of-three finals even with the return of Alfafara.
Bonono contributed a total of 17 points as the HD Spikers swept the Wrecking Balls in their semifinal playoff, then came through with a whopping 35 points, averaging 11.67 per game, when his team outlasted the Mega Builders in the extended finals series.
“I really, really prayed hard to be given enough playing time,” said Bonono in Filipino. “The opportunity came when Mark (Alfafara) went with the national team to Korea to train. Coach O (Oliver) began using me as a starter in the semifinals. I gave my 101 percent each time I was sent to the court. I was greatly pleased when he still used me as a starter throughout the finals even with the return of Mark.”
Bonono said he was deeply grateful to Almadro and his assistants for trusting in him. “My teammates will never know how happy I was to be given the chance to prove my worth.” His gratitude also went to Cignal for giving him the opportunity to earn and send himself through college.
Bonono was recruited from University of Southern Philippines Foundation in Cebu City for which he played beach volleyball. He continued his studies in Philippine Christian University where he recently finished Bachelor of Science in Social Work.
Joseph Erickson Ramos was equally grateful to coach Almadro for taking him into the team. He was with the HD Spikers in their victory in the Reinforced Conference earlier in the year.
Dinner and trip to Japan
With their family and friends, the HD Spikers were treated to dinner at a Japanese restaurant along Edsa following the title win.
Bonono and Ramos said the team will be going to Japan in September as part of their prizes from management. It is also expected that they will get hefty bonuses from Cignal TV, a member of the MVP Group of Companies.
As the new PVL First Conference champions then, the HD Spikers, said Bonono, was presented to Manuel V. Pangilinan himself, one of the most respected business tycoons in the country.
“I was humbled when I met up with the owner of our sponsoring company.”