A month ago, JP Bugaoan was on a high.
The FEU stalwart had just won his very first career championship with Cignal, as he helped the HD Spikers dethrone Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers. He also had his sweet revenge on the National University core who denied him a UAAP championship in Season 81.
Right after, he was named as the team captain of the Tamaraws – tasked to take the charge for the runner-ups and, hopefully, lead them to another run to the Finals.
However, things turned upside down in a snap.
Four days ago, the HD Spikers went to South Korea to celebrate their fourth league title. Bugaoan was unable to process his papers on time, forcing him to miss the trip along with Peter Torres.
“Kaya hindi ako nakasama sa Korea, gawa nang hindi na-process yung passport ko. So yun, naiwan ako,” disclosed Bugaoan.
But Bugaoan refused to dwell on the situation, believing that he still has a more daunting task ahead. The reigning UAAP First Best Middle Blocker turned his focus to the Tamaraws’ upcoming Spikers’ Turf campaign.
Both Jude Garcia and Owen Suarez will be out for their opening game, as they are still in Korea. The newly-minted FEU skipper then took it as a consolation to lead the young Tamaraws without the veteran duo.
“[Siguro] natira ako dito para i-lead yung team, kasi ako yung team captain, kaya kailangan ko i-represent yung team,” shared Bugaoan.
Unfortunately, his squad’s debut didn’t go as planned.
The Perpetual Altas out-played the Tamaraws in their curtain-raiser, as the reigning NCAA champions emerged victorious in four sets.
“Una, masakit. Nag-ensayo kami nang matindi, tapos matatalo lang. Pero yun nga, magandang experience ‘to kasi iba’t ibang level ng mga players ang aming makakalaban. Kaya challenge sa amin ‘to, na kailangan pa naming i-improve lahat ng skills namin,” said Bugaoan, who fired 16 points in a losing cause.
But for Bugaoan, it’s either they win or they learn. And he remains optimistic, using the series of unfortunate events to bounce back on September 8 against Army, when he hopes to finally end the string of bad occurrences.
“Pero despite of that, kailangan pa naming mag-training pa nang matindi at mas pag-igihan pa namin para makabawi kami sa mga next games namin.”