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Paulo Hubalde repays Valenzuelans despite disappointing campaign: ‘Hindi nila kami iniwan’

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Tiebreaker Times Paulo Hubalde repays Valenzuelans despite disappointing campaign: 'Hindi nila kami iniwan' Basketball MPBL News  Valenzuela Classic Paulo Hubalde 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Cup

Turbulent was the campaign of Valenzuela-Carga Backload Solutions in the 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Season.

Despite losing Jan Jamon in the off-season, the tandem of Paulo Hubalde and Chris De Chavez were pegged to carry the load for the Classic.

As expected, Valenzuela was off to a blazing start to the season, going 4-1 against a murderer’s row of teams.

However, an unexpected turn of events led to an early struggle that the team could not recover from the rest of the way.

“Oo naman, nakakapanghinayang,” recalled Hubalde.

Literally, a revolving door of coaches happened to the Classic. From July to late last year, the tacticians that handled the team were Gerry Esplana to Demy Salenga to Ronjay Enrile then back to Esplana before settling for Enrile to close out their campaign.

De Chavez was then cut from the team later on.Tiebreaker Times Paulo Hubalde repays Valenzuelans despite disappointing campaign: 'Hindi nila kami iniwan' Basketball MPBL News  Valenzuela Classic Paulo Hubalde 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Cup

The uncertainties led to loss after loss for the Classic, eventually having their playoff dream crushed by Navotas last January 10 with an 83-88 loss.

“Despite what happened sa amin, marami naman kami natutunan sa isa’t isa lalo na ang team at management,” expressed Hubalde, who has been in the game for the last 15 years.

“Lagi ko nga sinasabi sa boys na kahit natatalo kami, ‘Let’s cherish every moment kasi yung journey namin as a team is a lesson in life and in basketball.'”

In their final home game last January 17, Hubalde and the Classic made sure to give back to the fans that did not give up on them.

With the Valenzuela Astrodome packed to the rafters, the 5-foot-11 gunslinger fired 27 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists to steer Valenzuela to a thrilling 81-77 win over fellow also-ran squad Rizal.

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“Importante sa amin yung laro kanina kasi yun ang tanging paraan na mabalik namin sa Valenzuelanos ang walang sawang suporta nila sa amin,” said Hubalde.

“Maraming nawala sa amin pero hindi nila kami iniwan.”

With three games left in their calendar, the 38-year-old Hubalde plans to continue pushing. Moreover, he still has no plans to hang up his boots, vowing redemption come next season.

In the other games, Marikina dispatched Paranaque-Yabo Sports, 89-82, while playoffs-bound 1Bataan-Camaya Coast continued to gain momentum, escaping Navotas-Unipak, 81-78.

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