Tough act ahead for Powerade | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Tough act ahead for Powerade

/ 03:36 AM January 01, 2012

Powerade governor Jose Bayani “JB” Baylon is not known to be a religious man.
That’s why when I heard PBA insiders talking  about how he had gotten down on his  knees  at  Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church in Baclaran  last Dec. 19, I was incredulous.
More so when one  of his fellow PBA governors related that JB had actually walked on his knees from the entrance of  the church all the way to the altar.
Two days after I heard that talk, I still mulled if JB had actually done it and why. But I wasn’t really surprised since he had done so many “unusual” things before, like  listen to the radio inside his car parked outside the Araneta Coliseum while his team played.
JB is very superstitious. He believes that his presence inside the coliseum brought bad luck to his team.
On New Year’s Eve,  I felt prompted to  get some answers straight from the horse’s mouth.
* * *
“Yes, everything you heard is true. I walked on my knees from the first pew to the last pew  of the Baclaran Church. And I did it in only ten minutes,” bragged JB, just a few hours before the stroke  of midnight yesterday.
According to the PBA governor, it all started with a conversation he had with  fellow University of the Philippines alumnus Pato Gregorio of Maynilad.
“UP talk, you know. It sounded like a challenge. Pato said  that with our present lineup, he won’t be surprised if we make it to the semifinal  round,” JB said.
To qualify for the semis, Powerade would have to beat the highly favored Derby Ace twice, a tall order for a team  that always finds itself somewhere down below at the end of a conference.
The Tigers had achieved the reputation of being an underachieving team over the stretch.
“I told Pato that if Powerade makes it to the semis I will walk on bended knees along the aisle of the Baclaran Church,” JB said.

A gentleman and a man of his word,  JB found himself motoring towards Baclaran church at midnight of Dec. 19.
What he said could have been a joke but now  he was compelled to fulfill his promise. Powerade had beaten the James Yap-led  Llamados twice, in the process gaining  unexpected entry to the semis.

So now it was time for me to challenge him in the next phase, this time against the Rain Or Shine  Elasto Painters,  their opponents  in the best-of-7 semifinal series.
From a UP alumna to a UP alumnus.
JB said he will have to look for a bigger church with a longer aisle and more pews.  “Rain or Shine is much stronger and  they have been together longer,” he said.

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TAGS: JB Baylon, Powerade Tigers, Sports

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