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Tiebreaker Times


Mapua’s prodigal son Eriobu talks about father-son relationship with Co

The Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals had been finishing off a spectacular end-game comeback against the Perpetual Altas, Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre. After being down by as many as 15 points late in the third frame, the Cardinals were able to regain their bearings, limiting the Altas to just two points.

However, Mapua head coach Atoy Co, perhaps due to the roller-coaster of emotions the game had brought, suddenly rushed towards returning Cardinal Joseph Eriobu with 3.4 seconds remaining.NCAA-92-MIT-vs.-UPHSD-Atoy-Co-7134 Mapua's prodigal son Eriobu talks about father-son relationship with Co Basketball MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

Prior to the incident, Mapua had been up by just two points with 10.9 seconds remaining. Fellow Mapuan Darell Menina had been scolded by assistant coach Ed Cordero for not wasting enough time. After Allwell Oraeme missed two free throws, the ball, by some stroke of luck, had landed in the hands of Eriobu who was fouled by Perpetual’s Daryl Singontiko.

After a tongue lashing by Co, the Filipino-Nigerian was crying as he went to the free throw line. He was able to compose himself, knocking down both freebies to seal the third seed for the Mapua faithful.

“Kasi, yung last play, akala ko kasi wala nang oras. Kaya I hugged the ball,” the 24-year-old reflected about the play. “Dapat pinasa ko raw kay CJ [Isit] kasi open siya. E kala ko talaga, wala nang oras e. So nasigawan ako.”

“May point yung coaches ko. Good thing dun, focus ako dun sa last two free throws.”

Together with Andrew Estrella, Eriobu had missed the entire 91st Season of the NCAA due to academic reasons that disappointed Co. But just like a father to his son, the 64-year-old welcomed the lefty back for Mapua’s current campaign.NCAA-92-MIT-vs.-UPHSD-Eriobu-7081 Mapua's prodigal son Eriobu talks about father-son relationship with Co Basketball MIT NCAA News  - philippine sports news

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“Yung relasyon namin, parang mag-ama lang talaga kami. Kumbaga, pag yung anak, napagalitan, iiyak,” the sweet-shooting power forward shared. “Sa kanya, sabi niya prodigal son daw niya ako.:

“Sa istorya na yun, yung prodigal son na yun, bumait, bumalik. Sa akin, normal na yun.”

“Sobrang nakaka-motivate sa akin kapag nagagalit sila ni coach Ed. Pero naiintindihan ko naman yun kasi I understand na mahal nila yung ginagawa nila,” Eriobu, who is averaging 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, furthered.

For Eriobu, he is just happy to be playing once again for his father-figure.

“Sobrang saya kasi yung rookie palang kami ni Andoy, lagi kaming nasa bottom. Sobrang thankful kami kay God na nakaabot kami rito. Pati sa mga coaches namin na nagtitiwala sa amin,” he enthused.

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