Daganon eyes elusive title with Bataan Risers at MPBL
Gab Daganon is excited at the prospect of winning one with the Bataan Risers, his team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
MANILA, Philippines – When current Bataan Risers forward Gab Daganon looks at his former teammate Scottie Thompson’s success with Barangay Ginebra and now being in the national team pool, he’s happy. That’s another kid from North Cotobato who has done well.
Daganon hails from the same province and was teammates with Thompson from high school, Agro Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines in Davao City and at the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta for college. Both Thompson and Daganon grew up watching Peter June Simon, who hails from the same area. Simon served as an inspiration for the two in their respective games.
If there is one thing that Daganon wishes, it’s that he was able to win a NCAA title with Thompson. When Daganon was playing, he had teammates Justine Alano, Harold Arboleda, Juneric Baloria and Thompson. The Fantastic Four as they were called as they beat teams. Daganon and current UE Red Warrior Ric Gallardo were on that team as well. When Alano, Arboleda and Baloria graduated, Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze moved up.
“Sayang, hindi kami nagsabay sabay,” said Daganon with a tinge of remorse. “May chance kami kung ganun.”
If a college title eluded him, Daganon cannot help but be excited at the prospect of winning one with the Bataan Risers, his team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. At 6-1, the Risers are one of the best teams in the 26-team league.
Of late, Daganon has contributed to his team’s six-match win streak — one that they hope to extend when they play Valenzuela at the Bataan People’s Center on Wednesday.
“Wala ako masabi sa Bataan,” gushed the forward. “Ang ganda ng suporta ng hindi lang ng management pati na rin yung mga taga-Bataan. Iba itong team na ito sa lahat na napasama ako. At sobrang okay mga teammates ko. Hindi player ang turing namin sa isa’t isa kung ‘di, pamilya; magkakapatid mula sa coaches at management hanggang sa players. So sa aming mga players gusto naming isukli na maganda.”
“Sa pinapakita ng team namin, may chance kami lumaban. Kung ganito lang at tuloy tuloy, good chance ‘yan,”
When Daganon thinks of his old team with Thompson, he recalls the hardships and sacrifices. But he is happy it all gone well for his former teammate. Now, he hopes with the hard work, sacrifices, and good vibes of his Bataan team, it will also pay off now for him.
“Ang basketbol ay maganda para sa akin kasi nabigyan ako ng edukasyon at kinabukasan. Kaya hanggang ngayon, buhos ang binibigay ko sa larong ito. At sa Bataan.”