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Bong Quinto fulfills childhood dream of being a PBA champion

Bong Quinto was just 12 when he first watched a PBA game live and that made him dream of becoming a champion in the league one day.

Fast forward to now, and his younger self would be so proud of him following the fulfillment of that ambition.

Meralco lorded over the Season 48 Philippine Cup by ousting long-time powerhouse San Miguel from its throne.

“Bago ako nangarap mag-champion sa college, mag-champion sa high school, nangarap din ako mag-champion sa PBA,” he told reporters moments after their 8-78 Game 6 win on Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Quinto began dreaming of having his own moment when he witnessed Game 7 of the 2007 Fiesta Conference Finals at the Cuneta Astrodome, where Willie Miller and Rossel Ellis led Alaska past JJ Sullinger and Talk N Text, 99-96.

“First time ko manood ng PBA, Alaska versus Talk N Text, sa may Cuneta pa noon, Game Seven ata ‘yun,” recalled the 29-year-old winger.

“‘Yun ‘yung pinaka-first time na nanood ako ng PBA, championship pa.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Semis-Game-6-Meralco-def-Ginebra-Bong-Quinto Bong Quinto fulfills childhood dream of being a PBA champion Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Quinto had that affinity with the Texters since one of its utility staffers happened to be his neighbor, which enabled him to watch their games live.

From there, he saw how the flagship MVP Group franchise grew into one of the best teams of its time when it won numerous championships.

He experienced the celebrations, too. “Bata pa lang ako, naaalala ko talaga before, nakiki-celebrate ako dati sa championship ng Talk N Text. Lagi ako roon kasi bata pa lang ako, lagi ako nanonood ng practice nila.”

Now, Quinto has lived the dream, writing his name in history as well as being part of the very special batch of Bolts that gave the franchise its first-ever PBA title.

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And to accomplish as much at the expense of the league’s most successful club – that boasts of an unprecedented Philippine Cup track record of five consecutive championships in the conference – makes it all the more special.

“Sobrang special, lalong-lalo na, All-Filipino. Tapos kalaban mo San Miguel, sobrang nakakatuwa,” said the six-year pro, who finished with 11 points, two rebounds, and three assists in the title-clinching victory.

“Napaka-blessed na sa 11 teams, kami ‘yung nagkaroon ng opportunity na makapaglaro ng Finals kalaban ang San Miguel, nag-champion pa kami.”

Quinto can’t help but feel sentimental now that he’s achieved what that wide-eyed kid who set foot at the Astrodome 17 years ago dreamt of.

“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, soon darating din ‘yung time. Siyempre bata ka, ‘yun ‘yung dream mo, na maka-experience ka ng championship,” he said.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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