Blackwater dedicates every game to Bulawan
After the tragedy that befell the Blackwater camp before 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup, all the Elite wants to do is to dedicate their games to their fallen teammate Gilbert Bulawan.
Just before the team started their campaign in the season-ending conference, Blackwater had a short ceremony commemorating the San Sebastian bruiser on Saturday as it retired his number 11 jersey.
The team will also wear a black number 11 patch on their uniforms for the rest of the conference to remember their late comrade.
“Dine-dedicate namin yung every game para sa kanya,” said Bulawan’s close friend Reil Cervantes.
Though the Elite lost to NLEX, 96-90, to open the conference, they refused to back down and fought from a 17-point hole, an effort Bulawan will surely be proud of.
It has been a roller coaster ride for Blackwater, especially for Cervantes who had to see his friend pass out in his arms.
Bulawan fainted during the team’s practice on July 3 at SGS Gym and was rushed to Capitol Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The 29-year-old forward suffered a massive heart attack which cut his career short.
“Akala ko nagbibiro lang sya kasi napayakap kaya niyakap ko rin sya,” Cervantes, who took the death of his friend hard, recounted. “Mahirap sa akin yung first three days. Hindi nga ako nag-practice for almost a week yata.”
“Syempre masakit sa akin kasi araw-araw magkatabi kami, sa out-of-town magkasama kami kahit saan.”
But Blackwater has to move on and Cervantes knows that though Bulawan is no longer with them physically, he will always be the team spiritually.
“Natalo nga kami ngayon pero babawi na lang kami oara sa kanya next game,” he said.
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