Jackson Corpuz could have finally tasted a PBA D-League championship after several years in the amateur ranks, but unfortunately for him, the odds were not in his favor.
“Wala eh,” lamented Corpuz moments after the Racal Tile Masters’ 81-78 Game Three defeat at the hands of the Cignal-San Beda HD Hawkeyes on Thursday night.
The Tile Masters actually had the momentum to clinch their first ever D-League crown, having started strong from the get-go and even having led by as much as 13, 42-29, in the game’s early goings.
It could have been a walk in the park for Racal, but Cignal’s experience in late-game situations overcame that. With Javee Mocon catching fire, the HD Hawkeyes suddenly turned things around.
And the championship that Racal could have easily won fell into the opposition’s hands.
“Para sa akin, binigay ko naman ang lahat eh. Siguro talagang ‘di para sa amin,” added the veteran Corpuz, who anchored the Tile Masters with a near double-double of 24 points and nine rebounds.
“Ginawa ko ang part ko, ginawa ng kasama ko, short lang talaga.”
And as the Tile Masters came up short, the former PCU Dolphin feels nothing but regret, as he had missed the rare opportunity of having a ‘D-League champion’ tag on his basketball resumé.
“Sana [naipanalo] kasi nandito na eh. Kaya lang na-short. Siguro bawi na lang next conference,” said the stretch big out of Parañaque.
Still, it has been a season worth remembering for Racal. For the first time since entering the league in 2014, they made it into the semifinals, and eventually, the Finals as well.
And for Corpuz, it was the family-like atmosphere that the team has that did wonders in their magical Aspirants’ Cup campaign.
“Siguro sa akin, [yung pagiging] brothers [namin]. Umabot kami ng Finals, nagtiwala kami sa sarili namin, nagtiwala kami sa system ng coach namin,” described Corpuz.
Individually, for Corpuz, his steadiness for Racal was truly noticeable. With his norms of 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in the conference, he easily made his way into the MVP race.
And for Corpuz, he hopes that this personal outing of his this conference will finally send him to the pros, after being left undrafted back in the 2014 Rookie Draft.
“Sana. May mga kumakausap pero sana matuloy. May mga teams [na nagpaparamdam]. Sana yun lang. Ayun lang.”