It has been an emotional holiday season for Rain or Shine, but the team is relieved that somehow, it was able to start the year on the right note with a 97-82 win over Phoenix on Sunday.
And the Elasto Painters dedicated the victory to no less than their top supporter Margaret “Mommy” Yu, who passed away last Dec. 24 due to pneumonia. She was 71.
“When you lose somebody, especially your number one fan, we have to find ways to make the family cheer up and getting the win is the most important thing right now,” said ROS head coach Caloy Garcia.
“I think everybody in the Rain or Shine community is still grieving right now because we lost somebody who really loved the team and loved the players a lot, so I think this conference, we should give it to her.”
Yu, the mother of team owner Raymond Yu, has been a staple in Rain or Shine’s games and has been an integral part of the team as its lead booster from the sidelines.
And the players truly felt her support, something which they said would really be missed in the games.
“Siya yung nagmo-motivate sa amin. The way na pinu-push nya kami, lalo na pag natatalo kami, tatawagan kami niya after the game. Yun ang mga nakaka-miss sa kanya (She’s the one who motivates us. The way she pushes us, especially when we lose, she calls us after the game. That’s what I will miss from her.),” said Jeff Chan.
One of the longest tenured members of the Elasto Painters, the Negrense sniper recalls fond memories of Yu, as he recounted her tireless support for the team and their players.
“Alam mo talagang number one supporter siya. Kasi pag nanonood ng game yan, hindi uupo yan. Nakatayo yan buong game. Pag naka-shoot ako, nakikita ko nakatayo yan. Pag tumatakbo ako, nakikita ko na nakatayo yan. Tsaka mommy figure talaga. Pag may nasaktan sa amin, tatawag yan, magpapadala ng fruits or pagkain. So yun ang nakaka-miss talaga,” he said.
(You know she’s really our number one supporter. When she watches the game, she never sits. She’s standing all game long. When I shoot, I can see her standing. She’s really a mommy figure. When someone gets hurt. She calls us, sends us fruits and food. That’s what I will miss from her.)
James Yap echoed Chan’s sentiments as he recounted the same generosity from Yu dating back to his amateur days when he was still part of the Welcoat franchise in the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
“Grabe yung mga advice niya sa akin at tinatawagan ako lagi nun. Kumbaga, siya yung nanay ko dito sa Manila. Kahit nasa ibang team ako noon, di siya tumigil na bigyan ako ng advice, and kung sino yung maging girlfriend ko, sinasabi nya na ipakilala ko muna sa kanya (She was big in terms of her advices and she aleays calls me. She was like my mother here in Manila. Even if I was with the other team, she didn’t stop from giving me advice, and whoever my girlfriend is, she tells me to introduce to her first.),” he said with a hearty laugh.
“Sobrang concerned siya sa akin. Every time na pupunta ka doon sa kanya, meron kang ang pao. So mami-miss siya namin, mami-miss siya ng mga players dahil sa alaga niya sa amin. Hindi lang ako, maraming naalagaan si Mommy. Pag gusto ka ni Mommy, gusto ka niya talaga. Kaya sobrang lungkot namin na nawala na siya, pero I’m sure na na kay God siya.”
(She’s so concerned for me. Every time you go to her, she’ll always give you ang pao. We’ll miss her, the players will miss her because she really cared for us. It’s not just me, but Mommy has cared for a lot. If she likes you, she really likes you. That’s why we’re so sad that she’s gone, but I’m sure that she’s already with God.)
If there’s one thing Rain or Shine thinks it can do to honor Yu, it’s definitely dedicating this season’s campaign to her. And so far, the team is on the right path, sitting at solo second with their 5-2 card in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
“Para sa kanya ito. Actually, yung season para sa kanya talaga (This is for her. Actually, this season is really dedicated to her.),” said Chan.