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Breakthrough win way to repay Dio Sy’s unwavering support, expresses Vanguardia


Blackwater head coach Ariel Vanguardia is immensely grateful for the support team owner Dioceldo Sy has shown despite all their struggles.

In fact, the long-time sports patron’s magnanimity was highlighted by the veteran mentor in his pre-game talk to the Bossing prior to their last PBA Governors’ Cup match against no. 1 team Magnolia, Wednesday night.

“In our group chat, our owner said, ‘I’m going to watch the game,'” shared Vanguardia, who’s also the team’s alternate governor.

“My pregame was… I just told the guys [that] I’ve been in the PBA for twenty years, I’ve coached various teams, various franchises, you can’t see an owner still supporting you even if you’re zero and ten,” he added.

“When you’re out and when you have nothing to fight for, the owner won’t watch anymore. He was still here.”

It has been known already that Sy has been a hands-on boss ever since, so it didn’t come as a surprise anymore that he still watched his team see action for the final time this season at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Thus, the elation Vanguardia felt when his charges responded to his pep talk. Blackwater defeated the no. 1 team in the league, 101-100, to put an end to its historic 29-game losing skid that began back in 2020.

The seasoned bench tactician was particularly proud of the pride the Bossing showed even after another loss appeared to be imminent late when they lost hold of an 11-point and trailed by a point with 48,2 seconds left.

However, thanks to the clutch efforts of veteran guard JVee Casio, Barkley Ebona, and Rey Suerte, Lady Luck finally smiled at them.

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“Na-test rin yung character namin na kaya rin pala namin manalo ng close game,” said Vanguardia, who’s been at the helm since September.

But then again, the victory is dedicated to Sy and the entire management for being there even at the hardest of times.

“It was a delayed birthday gift for him,” said Vanguardia, as the business tycoon celebrated his 64th birthday last March 6. “And it just goes to show his commitment to the team and to the buildup that we’re trying to build.

“I’m just happy that the team was able to respond na kahit talunan tayo, wala tayong chance, nanonood pa rin ‘yung mga owners natin, nandito pa rin sa dugout natin, sinu-support tayo. That fired them up,” he added.

Now, Vanguardia hopes to give back the support of the Bossing’s top brass by racking up more victories next season.

“‘Yung tiyaga ng mga owners sa amin, nandoon pa rin. Never na-late ‘yung sweldo, never na-late allowance, nandoon lahat ng suporta,” he said.

“Alam namin we’re not the highest-budget team. But you got to appreciate ‘yung sa rebuilding, they fully support it, kung sino yung mga gusto kong i-sign for two-year deals, sinign nila for two-year deals. Kung sino isa-sign for an extension, in-extension natin. Whoever I want to get sa draft, naka-linya na, alam na nila kung sino ‘yung mga gusto kong kunin, gusto kong anuhin,” he continued.

“Yung commitment ng owners and management, nakita naman namin. Sana masuklian pa namin ng maraming panalo.”

2021-22-PBA-Governors-Cup-Magnolia-vs-Blackwater-Locker-room Breakthrough win way to repay Dio Sy's unwavering support, expresses Vanguardia Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo from Silliman Sy

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Written By

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


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