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Dad Joel serving as inspiration for Gab Banal’s title hopes


The past few days had been challenging for Gab Banal.

Over the weekend, his father Joel suffered a heart attack. Banal wanted to win Game Four of their 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals versus Che’lu Bar and Grill Revellers for his recovering dad.

And not just that – the younger Banal also wants to snare the conference’s Most Valuable Player plum, so he can bring some good news to his dad and, of course, his family.

“I wanted to win that MVP to offer it to my dad, who’s recovering from a heart attack,” said Gab, who had a spectacular conference highlighted by a triple-double performance versus Marinerong Pilipino in the semis.

Unfortunately, he got neither.

Banal was bested by Che’lu main man Jeff Viernes for the award, and hours after that, his Go for Gold Scratchers failed to close out the series in four games as they lost, 81-88, no thanks to the Revellers’ well-deployed attack.

“Simula pa lang ng game they showed us na that they wanted it more, and I was telling the guys that they won’t hand the trophy easy so we gotta earn it,” said Banal, who had 20 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists in the loss.

“So I guess coming into Game Five we gotta be aggressive, there’s no tomorrow, we can’t be relax, we need to be focused. We can’t afford to think other things you know, personal things or other things,” asserted the ex-pro.

Tuesday’s loss doesn’t mean the end for the Scratchers, as they still have a chance to bounce back in the deciding Game Five this Thursday. And for Banal, he wants to win the golden hardware for his father.

“Definitely he’s one of my motivations for winning the championship.”

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Written By

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


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