|Despite the overwhelming odds, these Skyscrapers stood tall against the Knights. MPBL|
SUBIC -- David Carlos, Edwin Asoro, Bhabap Sta. Maria, Carlo Lloren, Kako Morales.
Those are the five brave homegrown cagers who played the whole game for Makati-Super Crunch in the Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan North Division Finals knockout match, Wednesday.
Other players of Makati did not enter the bubble due to an internal issue with the team's management.
Despite being thrashed by defending champion San Juan-Go for Gold in the decider, 54-131, at the Subic Bay Gymnasium here, the Makati five earned the respect of everyone.
For the courageous stand they put up, team captain and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 slam dunk king David Carlos was satisfied, disclosing that the team only trained thrice before the resumption of the country's fastest-growing regional league.
"Kahit na yung resulta ay hindi namin gusto, but nagawa naman namin yung game plan namin. Hindi kami sumabay sa takbuhan nila, nag zone kami the whole game," said the uber-athletic Carlos, who finished with nine points, three boards, two dimes, and two steals.
"Sa amin accomplishment na yon. Small victory na yon dahil kaming lima lumaban kaming united."
Interim head coach Henry Subido could not help but be proud of his fearless five with the way they showed up despite having to play each and every bit of the 40 minutes.
He knows that his players made sacrifices just to finish the tournament with heads high up against a full force San Juan.
"Malaking bagay na inilaro pa nila yung game considering na five players lang sila. It speaks a lot about their character," said the Super Crunch mentor.
"They did a great job for sacrificing a lot knowing that they'll be playing na sila-sila lang."
Asoro led Makati with 21 points, four blocks, and four rebounds while doing so with four fouls on his name. Sta. Maria added nine points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal while Morales and Lloren chipped in six and four markers, respectively.
Meanwhile, for San Juan head coach Randy Alcantara, his team played lethal and showed no mercy against Makati to show respect to their opponents.
The Knights ended up breaking the league record in the biggest margin of victory at 77, destroying Bacoor's 53-point win (109-56) against Parañaque on August 27, 2019.
"Thank you sa Makati at sa mga players na talagang nagpakita pa rin sila. Kulang lang sila pero yung sa effort nakita namin na gusto rin talaga nila maglaro at manalo," he said.
"Credit din sa lima ng Makati. Mahirap maglaro ng lima lang ah! Yung pace pa namin takbuhan," seconded San Juan guard Mike Ayonayon as they produced 51 points off the fastbreak.
Makati consultant Beaujing Acot, who stepped down from his coaching post last January, still remembered all the players who are supposed to play in this do-or-die game.
They are Juneric Baloria, Rudy Lingganay, Jeckster Apinan, Cedric Ablaza, John Rey Villanueva, Joshua Torralba, Joseph Sedurifa, Niel Cruz, Joseph Manlangit and Vince Importante.
"Sa mga dati kong players, very proud ako sa inyo. I know you deserve to be here. Everybody deserves to be here but there are things I cannot control. We also have to understand I'm just an employee also," said Acot.
Ultimately, the five brave guys of Makati played their hearts out with one thing in mind - the Makatizens.
"Ginawa namin ito para sa mga taga-Makati, para matapos namin on a high note yung liga," Carlos said.
Despite the whipping they received, Makati's Fearless Five will leave the MPBL bubble on Thursday with their heads up high.
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