Urbiztondo stays grounded amid another ABL title shot
Josh Urbiztondo is no stranger to being on the cusp of winning a title in the ASEAN Basketball League.
The sweet-shooting guard was with the Singapore Slingers last year, but failed to cop the crown as they lost to Hong Kong Eastern.
This time, Urbiztondo wants to finish the job and do it right with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
“The biggest thing that we should know is it’s not done yet,” he said. “We need to be humble. We can be happy being here in the Finals, but we could not be content. We got to still make sacrifices and we all have to do our part individually taking care of our bodies and being mentally being prepared.”
Urbiztondo gained a measure of revenge in the semifinals when Alab eliminated defending champs Hong Kong Eastern in two games.
But other than the sense of redemption, he felt more elated with getting another shot at the gold in the regional league.
“You’re not always going to be in the Finals. It’s really hard to be in a situation to be in the Finals. And now, it’s the first time for Alab to be here,” he said.
Those lessons are what Urbiztondo is aching to ingrain to his teammates, saying that an opportunity like this don’t come often and they have to take matters seriously.
“When you’re actually in the Finals, you think that you’ll always be there. But the reality is you may never be back again,” said the veteran guard, who worked his way back to peak form after suffering a left hamstring injury.
At 35, Urbiztondo knows that this may be one of his last legitimate chances to get a crown together with fellow veterans Dondon Hontiveros, 40, and Rico Maierhofer, 32.
That’s why he’s hell-bent on helping Alab win this one.
“We just have to stay together. Seize the moment, take advantage of it, and know that the job isn’t done yet,” he said. “It’s just a blessing and we’re just so fortunate. Hopefully, we could win this championship together.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.