Racela on Eboņa: Grabe yung puso ng batang yun
Danine Cruz on Nov 21, 2018 09:17 PM
"Inisip ko na lang na wala nang bukas." -- Barkley Eboņa
Barkley Eboña was a force of nature in Far Eastern University's Final Four-clinching win over De La Salle University.
Aside from scoring 12 points, it was his rebounding prowess that was on full display all game long.
He had a total of 16 rebounds, 10 of those coming from offensive possessions. He was the only player in the game that had double-digit rebounds.
Plus, in terms of offensive boards, Eboña almost equalled all of La Salle's 11.
His effort on both ends did not go unnoticed as coach Olsen Racela singled him out during the post-game press conference.
"He just typifies the ‘Be Brave’ spirit ng FEU. The way he goes for those rebounds, the way he defends. He had 10 offensive rebounds. Grabe ‘yung puso ng batang ‘yun. He gave us a lot of extra possessions in this game," said the FEU mentor whose team had 54 rebounds compared to La Salle's 41.
Due to his never say die attitude on court, it was just natural for Eboña to feel some physical pain during the match. In the dying minutes of the game, he was seen stretching both of his legs on the bench as he was experiencing severe cramps from all the jumping and the hustling.
But with 4:30 left in the game, Prince Orizu fouled out and Racela had no choice but to field the hurting Eboña back in. Regardless of what the Tamaraw was feeling, he said he could still fight.
"Mahirap kasi dalawang paa ko nag-cramps. Inisip ko na lang na wala nang bukas. Bigay ko na lahat. Kung ano man mangyari, wala nang magagawa. Basta at the end of the day, wala akong pinagsisihan,” said Eboña.
Practically playing with cramped legs and all heart, Eboña still played like there was no tomorrow. There was a specific sequence in the last few seconds where he was against four Green Archers going for the rebound but, it was the lone Tamaraw that soared above them all for the ball.
Eboña's all-heart performance paid off as FEU sealed their spot back in the Final Four. They are set to face the top seeded team Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday for the semifinals.
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