|Ateneo's unsung heroine. PT Louise Gopez tapes Tyler Tio as Jawuan White looks on waiting for his turn. Joji Lapuz/Fabilioh|
PASIG -- There is one saying that is true most of the time: REAL HEROES DO NOT NEED TO WEAR CAPES.
During Ateneo's gallant stand in the Jones Cup, physical therapist Louise Gopez was the unsung heroine for those brave Blue Eagles after putting up a big fight for the flag and country when they finished just a win shy of the podium finish after a week of thrilling and free flowing basketball.
Affectionately called Mama Lou by her wards, she made sure that this Blue brotherhood were taped well in a week-long grind, something that is contrast to their once or twice a week games when the UAAP season is rolling.
Everyone in the team, especially team manager Epok Quimpo was quick to praise her silent work as she does the job behind the bench.
"She really wants to apply to be a Chooks-to-Go Girl," he said in jest, drawing nothing but laughter across Bar One. "But she chose a different profession."
Turning serious this time, the former pint-sized guard was quick to see her work paid huge dividends as there were no major injuries that inflicted Ateneo, with only Adrian Wong's left wrist and Gian Mamuyac's sprain the notable causes of concern for Gopez.
"Mama Lou kept the players in good shape," Quimpo further said about the challenge of playing consecutive days. "For a strenuous week, that is commendable."
Entering her fifth season with them, Mama Lou told Dugout Philippines last Tuesday that she was glad to see that there is fulfillment in getting the players healthy before they stepped foot on the floor.
"Hindi mo naman masyado nafifeel lahat ng pagod, yung hirap. Kasi lahat parang worth it at the end of the day," she said.
For her, getting Thirdy and co. was enough for to be contented, but taping the country's representatives in their Taiwan tilt was a proud achievement in itself.
"Dream come true na sa akin yun," Gopez later added.
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