#SquadGoals: Massage session-loving Mapúa Cardinals
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 27, 2016 07:05 PM
‘Mahilig naming pagtripan ang isa’t-isa.’ (Photo by Rxandy Capinpin for Chalk Magazine)
Their first duel this season ended crazily, with only a three point-margin against JRU. But Mapúa Cardinals’ shirt-stripping coach Atoy Co, a PBA legend, is really keen on getting that championship after landing only third last year. How are they fortifying themselves this new school year? By training everyday at 7 a.m., starting with a 5 a.m. jog.
And when practices end, the Cardinals still try to do things together to help further the camaraderie.
Team captain CJ Isit stresses, “We try to build each other up whether if it’s on the court and off the court as well. We try to work out together, go to weights together, and go on team massages together. We also go to team dinners and watch movies or get one or two drinks.”
“It’s pretty much about building each other up mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
Sure, they may have lost Josan Nimes who graduated last year, but they’re still proving strong with Allwell Oraeme on the squad. Add to that being bound by their pure love of each other that was only boosted after their first out-of-the-country building (they went to Taiwan recently!). Fosho, the Mapúa boys could only use their friendship as a key in securing that championship!
How are you at the dorm?
Isit: We’re super kulit. There’s always some sort of action going on whether it’s someone na pinagti-tripan ng iba or just the little things like that. Whenever someone steps out or go out to do something, there’s always an invite to the rest of the guys so it’s pretty cool like that.
Laurenz Victoria: Masaya kasi minsan nagkukulitan kami e. Mayroon kmaing pinagti-tripan na isang teammate namin kaya ayun tawa lang kami nang tawa.
Justin Serrano: Kaya kapag ikaw ang napag-tripan kawawa ka na. Ganoon lang.
Isit: But at the end of the day we know that it's love, whether it's tough love or part of the brotherhood.
How do you guys deal with fights on the team?
Isit: We try to deal with it head on. Whenever there’s a confrontation, we just have to face it and at the end of the day it just makes our team stronger because we’re always able to get over it and come to a solution.
Victoria: Minsan ‘yung iba lang kasi ayaw magtrabaho kapag naglalaro kami at nagpa-practice kaya nagkakainitan. Pero naayos naman.
Serrano: Kunyari may nagkakainitan sa amin kami-kami na mismo ang nagse-separate at nagtatanong kung ano baa ng problema. Bago matapos ang practice pagbabatiin namin. Inaasar pa nga namin na, “Oh, kiss muna!”
How do you deal with girls—especially if you are crushing on just one girl?
Isit: Bato-bato pick!
Victoria: Sa amin kasi kapag alam mo may crush na sa kanya, wala ka na.
Serrano: Bigayan lang.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve done together?
Isit: We had some pretty long nights! Ha ha!
Serrano: Nagpunta kami noon sa Daranak Falls sa Taytay. Tumalon kami sa falls!
On the team, who’s the heartthrob?
Serrano: CJ! Tingnan mo naman, oh. English speaking na Am-Boy! Katawan pa lang oh!
Who’s the most stylish?
Isit: Justin, because he’s always up to date with the latest trends. He’s always on the ‘wave,’ so to say. Look at his hair!
Who’s the coolest in the team?
Serrano: Laurenz! Chill lang yan!
Isit: He’s just so poised and relaxed. There’s something about him. He’s like a boss!
Who’s the team nerd?
Isit: JP Nieles! Unfortunately, he’s injured. It could also be Justin because he has these moments where he’s just to himself and he’s just super antisocial and he’s just on his phone! There’s this one time in our team building where we are all swimming and he was just in a room by himself.
Serrano: Oy hindi ah, bumili lang ako ng uling nun!
Who’s the funniest?
Serrano: Si Buenaventura Dela Rosa. Kasi kung anu-ano ginagawa niya sa sarili niya, eh! Lagi siyang may kulani. Dito ang laki ng kulani niya lagi dito sa singit.! Ha ha!
--Interview by Mark Escarlote