When BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare finished off Centro Escolar University in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semis to head to the Big Dance, Joshua Fontanilla said that it doesn’t stop there.
For the spitfire guard, the goal is to get the crown, even if they are against the veteran-laded Marinerong Pilipino spearheaded by conference Most Valuable Player Eloy Poligrates.
They did just that.
Seen as the underdogs from the beginning, the Saints completed their comeback from a 0-1 series deficit, nipping the fancied Skippers 63-60 in the winner-take-all Game Three Monday.
Fontanilla — who contributed eight rebounds, five points, four assists, and three steals in the win — couldn’t be happier that he and BRT Sumisip-St. Clare finally struck gold in the D-League.
“Sobrang worth it kasi lahat kami naghirap. Alam namin kung ano yung sinakripisyo namin isa’t-isa, bawat training. Minsan nagkakasakitan pa kasi gusto namin maganda yung ensayo,” said Fontanilla moments after the match.
“Mabuti nagbunga po lahat. Nagbunga tong pangarap namin.”
More than the championship, Fontanilla is grateful for this journey of theirs, including the chance to have learned from veterans such as Hesed Gabo, Japs Bautista, and Cris Dumapig.
“Sobrang dami ko pong natutunan sa kanila lalo yung mga kulang sa’min. Lalo sa decision-making ko. Kung ano yung alam nila, naipapangaral nila samin — ‘di lang sa’kin, pati sa iba kong teammate.”
The Saints are definitely on a high following this achievement. But they will buckle down to work shortly after, as they will gear up for the NAASCU Finals versus Enderun starting Wednesday.
And for the graduating Fontanilla, he and St. Clare aim for no less than defending their throne.
“Ayun nga po e. Siempre naman po. Kasi St. Clare pa rin po yung dala namin dito e so yun pa rin po yung bibitbitjn namin dun. Kailangan namin i-defend yung kung ano yung nasa’min dun.”