Photo from MPBLHOME AND AWAY49
Gab Banal credits his teammates for his triple double performance
by Niel Victor Masoy, January 11, 2020 7:52pm
Reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Gab Banal put up another solid performance on Saturday in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Banal unloaded a triple-double of 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Strikers drubbed the Muntinlupa Cagers, 98-67, to notch their sixth straight victory.
Banal said he would not have tallied such a stat line if not for his teammates.
“Hindi ko makakamit yun kundi dahil sa mga teammates ko. Syempre nashu-shoot nila yung pasa ko, binabasa ko lang yung defense kung ano yung ginagawa nila sa’kin. Kung kina-clog nila yung lane pinapasa ko sa teammates ko,” shared Banal in an interview with Courtside Philippines.
“Kapag hindi, dun ko tini-take (yung shot). Syempre nagkataon lang din na ganun yung depensa at ganun yung outcome ng game. I need to involve my teammates more para syempre mahirapan yung depensa,” he added.
As for Bacoor’s winning streak, the longest winning run in the regional league as of posting time, Banal said that such was born out of the Strikers’ bond on and off the court. He also cited Bacoor’s all-out mentality day in and day out.
“Yung samahan namin kasi solid kami. Solid yung Bacoor, inside and outside the court.” shared Banal, whose Strikers squad’s six-game winning run is the longest active winning streak in the league as of posting time.
“We never take any game for granted. Laging pedal to the floor kami tapos ‘di namin tinitignan kong sino yung kalaban. We respect every team. We treat them as a strong team. We always give our 100 percent.”
Bacoor boasts a 21-5 win-loss card, good for the second spot in the South Division standings. And for Banal, he wants the ‘Strikers to continue to peak as the league is nearing its playoffs rounds.
“Sana right time for us to peak to kasi medyo mahaba yung season, 10 months. Crucial dyan ang pag peak ng team. I’m hoping that we will peak at the right time. We’re getting there. I hope we peak at the right time in time for the playoffs,” he said.
Banal also stressed the importance of the Strikers securing at least one of the top four spots in the South as it will give them a homecourt advantage at least in the first round of the playoffs.
“We’re aiming for the top four kasi nga home court advantage. Malaking bagay yun, especially coming into the playoffs because last year we were no.5 when we went to the Semifinals. Hindi kami naka home court tapos tinapos kami ng Davao. We’re aiming for the top four but we’re taking everything one game at a time.”
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