Leo Gabo felt overwhelmed after he and BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare won the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the expense of the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino on Monday.
Many saw the Saints as the underdogs, and many believed that the series was over when they lost in Game One. They went and proved otherwise, though, sweeping the last two games en route to the title.
“‘Di ko ma-explain ‘yung feeling.
Grabe, sobra. Sobra. Parang nakalutang pa rin ako hanggang ngayon,” said Gabo after the 63-60 win, where he had 12 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
For Gabo, being able to finally call himself a champion means so much, given the journey he has had.
He never had much success during his time with the Mapua in the NCAA. The highlight of his stay with the Cardinals was probably the brawl he got into during a match versus EAC in 2014.
“Kasi kahit sa college, hindi rin naman ako… Kumbaga, hindi makulay ‘yung collegiate career ko personally,” said Gabo, who missed two straight NCAA seasons before returning in 2017.
He then tested the D-League waters in 2018, but that didn’t pan out. He bolted from Mila’s Lechon after one game, then decided to stick with Quezon City in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League
The Mighty Roasters were the first team in D-League history to pull out from the tilt after losing their first four games by an average of 26.3 points, including a 47-point loss to Zark’s-Lyceum.
“‘Yung stint ko sa Mila’s, naglaro ako first game. Umalis din ako kasi hindi ko rin gusto ‘yung pamamalakad.”
Good things come to those who wait, but the best things come to those who do, as the saying goes. And Gabo proved just that.
“Sabi nga nila, always do good and God will do the rest,” he said. “Sobrang sarap na andito ako ngayon.
“Kumbaga kung anuman nangyari sa ‘kin in the past, okay na ako dun. Masaya ako.”
The PBA Rookie Draft is expected to take place on December. Asked if he has intentions to make himself eligible for that, Gabo said that he will think things through first.
“Ico-consult ko muna yung coaches ko, si coach Steve (Tiu), coach Jerson (Cabiltes), mga adviser ko kung ano ‘yung best para sa ‘kin,” said Gabo, who currently plays for Basilan in the MPBL.
“Pero for now, ice-celebrate ko muna ‘tong panalo namin.