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Never Ever Give Up: Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto pay tribute to Bob Lotuaco

Colegio de San Juan de Letran lifers Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, Jerrick Balanza, and Tommy Gedaria were all in mourning when the Knights took on the EAC Generals, Friday afternoon.

Their former mentor during their days as Squires, Bob Lotuaco, had passed away last Wednesday after a long battle with throat cancer.

In honor of the former assistant coach, the four student-athletes all wore the same white statement shirts before and after the game.

Letran Squires | Never Ever Give Up

It was Lotuaco’s signature phrase to the boys. His name is also imprinted at the backs of the shirts.

A cancer survivor and a longtime fighter, Lotuaco’s father-like coaching style was very influential to the game of his former students.NCAA-93-SSCR-vs.-CSJL-Nambatac-9103 Never Ever Give Up: Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto pay tribute to Bob Lotuaco Basketball CSJL NCAA News  - philippine sports news

“Lagi niyang sinasabi sa amin na NEGU – Never Ever Give Up. Kasi siya yung type na coach na positive siya all the way. Hindi niya shineshare yung negative kasi he’s a cancer survivor din, two times na,” shared Knights’ team captain Nambatac, who had 19 points in Letran’s 84-78 win.

“So kaya niya sinabi samin na Never Ever Give Up kasi kahit siya mismo nakipagsapalaran, nakipaglaban, at nalampasan niya yun.”

Nambatac, who has been with the Letran squad since 2009 starting high school, shared the close bond that he nurtured with Coach Bob.

“Very, very close sa amin. Siyempre naging mentor din namin.

“He’s very supportive sa amin. Even nung nag-cocoach na siya sa Baste ng elementary, nandoon pa rin siya para manood sa amin. Lagi siya nakikipag communicate samin,” the 23-year-old added.

#ReadMore  Brownlee, Ginebra bury Northport, advance to PBA Govs' Cup Finals

On the other hand, Quinto — who posted a career-high of 27 points, seven rebounds, and two assists — disclosed that he was thinking of his former coach all game long.NCAA-93-CSJL-EAC-Quinto-8133 Never Ever Give Up: Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto pay tribute to Bob Lotuaco Basketball CSJL NCAA News  - philippine sports news

“Oo naman, siyempre [extra motivation siya. Si Coach Bob sobrang dami niyang natulong sa amin. Juniors days, until now, kahit sa D-League, every game namin nanonood talaga siya,” Quinto said.

“Every time nagkikita kami, motivation ko talaga sa kanya nanggagaling.

“Siya yung lagi naming kasama. Nakasama namin siya nung champion namin sa Palarong Pambansa pati sa Indonesia siya din kasama namin,” the 20-year-old Quinto expressed.

“Papasalamat ako sa kanya kasi sobrang dami niyang natulong sa amin sa team at lalo na sa amin mga bata niya.”

Coach Bob’s wake is at the Montevilla Covered Court, Montevilla de Monsod Subdivision, Sun Valley, Paranaque.

By: Danine Cruz

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