UAAP Baseball Finals: MVP Kiko Gesmundo hopes to finish the job next season

Philip Matel on Mar 17, 2018 06:46 AM
Baseball MVP Gesmundo hopes to finish the job next season
As he enters his final playing year for Season 81, MVP Kiko Gesmundo (right) hopes to bring the UAAP Baseball championship back to Taft, his second.

For UAAP Season 80 Baseball MVP Francis 'Kiko' Gesmundo, all was not lost on a dream season, saying that they gave their best, but unfortunately came up short against Adamson in their Finals series.

The Green Batters, Gesmundo's team, rolled through the eliminations, losing only once in ten games.

Down 0-1 in the Finals, they were expected to bounce back and force a rubbermatch on Tuesday afternoon, and were on track to do so, leading 5-0 by the middle of the third inning.

It was not until Adamson went beserk and scored 13 unanswered runs for them to win their first title since 2010.

"Nagkulang lang talaga. Suwerte rin yung kalaban eh. Natatamaan nila yung bola. Maganda rin yung nilaro ng Adamson. Napaghandaan kami," Gesmundo said after the game.

The best third baseman and slugger of the tournament added that his team really planned to bounce back, but what they expected as short bursts of fire suddenly turned to a full-scale offensive attack.

"Nagpalit kami. Kasi natalo kami. Regroup. Kailangang bumangon eh. Nag-focus kami sa fielding. Kasi sobrang daming error. Maganda naman yung fielding namin. Breaks of the game lang talaga, na napunta sa Adamson."

The fourth-year player also acknowledged his team relaxed after the quick 5-0 start, but it all went downhill from there, and they never recovered.

Even though Gesmundo somewhat got comforted by winning the MVP award, he said that winning the championship was a lot better, for the team is not defined by one player.

"Mas maganda maging champion kaysa makakuha ka ng individual award eh. Kasi makikita mo yung team mo na nagpapakahirap tapos ikaw lang makakakuha," Gesmundo explained.

"Pero mas masaya yung makukuha niyo na sama-sama kayo, konti lang makakakuha. Iba talaga ang feeling nang nag-chchampion."

Drawing inspiration from the previous tournament MVP in Iggy Escaño, Gesmundo asked for help from him, and started to train like his predecessor, before the whole team followed suit.

Gesmundo thanks Escaño for bringing the team along with his improvement, and credits him for the bounce back season after finishing third last season.

As he enters his final playing year for Season 81, Gesmundo hopes that he could replicate this year's Finals MVP Jerome Yenson's Cinderella run for his swan song in the UAAP, and bring the championship to back to Taft, his second.

The Green Batter lamented that he was injured in his first three finals series against Ateneo, but now he was able and not able to go all the way.

"Wala na akong sasaysangin sa araw. Mag-reregroup kami. Konti lang naman ang aalis sa amin eh," Gesmundo said.

"Intact pa rin naman ang team namin. May mga papasok pa. Makakatulong rin sa team. Kaya paghahandaan namin ang last year ko katulad ni Jerome. Nakita ko yung puso niya, gusto niya talagaang kuhain to. Next year, kami naman ang gagawa noon."

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