Hapee's failed title conquest still good enough for Magsanoc | Inquirer Sports

Hapee’s failed title conquest still good enough for Magsanoc

/ 08:38 PM June 28, 2015

Ronnie Magsanoc. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Ronnie Magsanoc. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

After all the team went through, Hapee was just a possession short of pulling the improbable.

However, Rod Ebondo had the final say in the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, sending the Fresh Fighters in tears to end the tournament.

READ: CafeFrance stuns Hapee for 1st PBA D-League title; Ebondo hits game-winner


Facing tons of twists and turns in the conference that was, it could already be considered as an overachievement for Hapee to even make it to the championship round.

That’s why for coach Ronnie Magsanoc, he couldn’t be prouder of his boys’ efforts.

“From day one, we’re all just praying to make it to the playoffs. When we got there, we’re praying that the players remain healthy because we’re always undermanned,” he said. “I’m really proud of these gallant men. Turbulence, more than struggle, a lot of things have happened, but there are no excuses.”

READ: Hardworking Rosario believes Hapee deserves to win PBA D-League crown


Starting the conference without the San Beda core, Hapee had to search the free agent pool just to field in a competent squad. Add to that the MCL injury to Garvo Lanete and the departure of Bobby Ray Parks for the United States, and the Fresh Fighters stumbled to a 2-3 start.

The return of the Red Lions to the line-up breathed new life to Hapee, as the team racked up four straight wins to make it to the quarterfinals before disposing a very game Jumbo Plastic in the quarterfinals and outlasting top seed Cebuana Lhuillier in three games in the semis.


But after three hard-fought games, it came down to just one possession between Hapee and CafeFrance to decide the victor of the Foundation Cup.

READ: Depleted but overachieving, Hapee out to defy odds

“One stop away, we had possession. But sometimes, things happen. We missed,” recounted Magsanoc. “I was hoping we’ll get final stop, but they deserve to win because of the last shot that they made. We gave our best.”

The Point Laureate took responsibility for the setback, but he believes that with the hand Hapee was dealt with, the Fresh Fighters’ run in the tourney was just as gratifying as those of their Aspirants’ Cup championship.

“I’m accountable for the loss. I believe the boys gave their best, the coaching staff gave their best, but sometimes you just fall short,” he said.

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“The finish was different, but with the amount of sacrifice they gave and the kind of hardships they had to overcome, I’ll say even though we lost, these guys are achievers. You might look at it differently, but for me, we left everything on the line every day,” Magsanoc added. CFC

TAGS: Basketball, cafefrance bakers, Hapee Fresh Fighters, PBA D-League, Sports

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