Text by: Erwin B. Agapay
MANILA – The Fighting Maroons bid goodbye to the Honda motorcycles on Sunday after incurring their 12th loss this season against NU Bulldogs.
Honda Motorcycles Philippines announced on Aug. 23 through their Facebook page that they would grant each player of the Fighting Maroons Basketball Team a Honda BeATscooter if they win three games in the ongoing UAAP season.
The team welcomed the challenge, where fifteen motorcycles prized at P65, 000 each are at stake.
Coach Rey Madrid of the Fighting Maroons said it was worth the try and that the team did its best but just fell short.
“Well, it was so close, not discounting that we still have to beat Adamson. We were two free throws away from beating Ateneo, one of the powerhouse teams,” the Diliman-based coach said. “Just to show that it was not a far-off wishful thinking, hindi naman kami nananaginip nun, it was a fair challenge for us.”
Tolio Enderez, market researcher at Honda Philippines Inc., said that since their company bears the tagline “Power of Dreams,” they take the lead in recognizing people who flourish despite difficulties—including the perennially impeded Maroons.
“They [Fighting Maroons] have difficulty in winning games, and for this reason they put great value and pride for every single win. And this goes not only for the team but for the rest of the UP Community, who enthusiastically supports the team and celebrates every win as if it is the championship,” Enderez said.
On the other hand, point guard Mikee Reyes, who has returned for his final year, took the letdown as motivation for the team to do better next season.
“It’s a big disappointment for us, but I think more than anything, we somehow gained a little bit more respect from other teams and everyone,” said Reyes. “I think that’s last in our minds right now. Siyempre, we would have wanted it, but it’s not there. We just have to get ready for next season.”
After finishing a winless stint last year, the Fighting Maroons are now at 7th place with a 1-12 slate. They will end the season with a game against the Adamson Falcons on Tuesday, the only team they defeat this season, hoping for a repeat victory.