There is no shortage of motivation for Eloy Poligrates as he joins Rizal-Xentro Mall for the fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The former PBA cager has inked a one-year deal with the Golden Coolers. He remains hungry to prove himself after being left unsigned by Marinerong Pilipino for the new season of the PBA D-League.
Poligrates was expected to return to the Skippers following an impressive run in the 2019 Foundation Cup that saw him win MVP honors while leading them to the Finals. Apparently, the team had other plans.
“Sana maipakita ko sa kanila na nagkamali sila sa pinili nilang desisyon,” said the flashy 6-foot guard, who once exploded for 67 points in a game during the same conference.
Poligrates believes that Rizal — now his third team in the Chooks-backed league after Cebu City-Casino Ethyl Alcohol and Val City Carga Backload Solution — is the best place for him to do just that.
“Sa Rizal, sabi ko naman sa kanila, kung pagbibigyan nila ako ng pagkakataon para ipakita kung anong laro ko, ‘yun,” said Poligrates, who only played 10 games combined for Cebu and Val City.
The 32-year-old Cebuano, though, isn’t losing sight of his main goal, which is to help Rizal tread the path to success.
The Golden Coolers had a disastrous campaign in the 2019-20 Lakan Cup. They finished with a 7-22 record, marking the second straight season that they missed the playoffs.
Poligrates knows how challenging it will be to turn things around for his new team. Still, he’s more than willing to take on it, along of course with the help of his teammates and coaches.
“Mas gusto ko ‘yung alanganin na team para, kumbaga… Kung maaangat ko ‘to, sama-sama kami lahat. Hindi naman tayo si Superman na kaya natin buhatin lahat, ‘di ba?” he said with a chuckle.
“Magtutulungan kami, para ‘yung pangalan namin mabango ulit kung maiaangat namin ‘tong team na ‘to. Pagtutulungan namin. Sinasabi ko lang din sa coaches, tulong-tulong kami.”