Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside PhilippinesTHE YOUNG96
Janine Pontejos turns emotional as her father, Melchor, watched her play live for the first time
by Niel Victor Masoy, December 03, 2019 8:17pm
Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Janine Pontejos is always about fighting for the country’s honor and promoting the Women’s basketball here in the Philippines.
“Syempre sobrang sarap sa feeling na mag-represent ng Women’s basketball,” said Pontejos moments after Gilas won the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games Women’s 3x3 basketball tourney Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“Ang saya sa pakiramdam na nag champion kami tsaka ang sarap sa pakiramdam na yung mga tao sumusuporta sa’min at tumutulong magpalakas ng loob namin. Siguro naman makikilala na yung Women’s basketball sa nagawa namin.”
But other than gunning for the gold, making the country proud, and promoting Women's basketball, Pontejos found extra motivation to play well on Monday.
The 27-year-old phenom said she drew more energy and confidence as her inspiration, her father, Melchor, 54, watched her play basketball live for the first time in her career.
"First motivation ko sa sarili ko yung tatay ko sa buong career ko ng basketball, so parang gusto ko mapagmalaki niya ako kasi first time niya na manuod ng live,” Pontejos told Courtside Philippines while holding back tears.
Pontejos said her father, who used to be a student-athlete, boxer, for Far Eastern University, wasn’t able to watch her before due to his busyness at work as a supervisor in a sugar manufacturing company.
That’s why Pontejos - who’s also an assistant coach for the Centro Escolar University Women’s basketball team - was just elated and emotional at the same time when her father finally watched and cheered her on live yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.
"Syempre sobrang sarap sa feeling na nagtsi-cheer yung family mo ‘di lang sa online, ‘di lang sa TV. Nandyan siya live siyang nanununod,” said the former CEU Scorpions’ star player, whose sister Daphne Joanne, 31, also watched her live for the first time in the first day (Sunday) of the SEA Games 3x3 basketball tourney.
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