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San Miguel forward Nelbert Omolon still has to play a single minute in the ongoing Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup finals but this does not make him feel useless in the series.
Before notching their first win against title foes Alaska Aces, Omolon sent a youtube link of an ESPN documentary that depicted the monumental comeback done by the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees during the 2004 American League Championship Series.
“Nung nasa Sta. Lucia kasi ako, naipakita sa amin yun ginawa ng Red Sox nung nag-training kami sa Boston. Naalala ko agad yun nung 0-3 kami kaya hinanahap ko agad sa youtube tapos pinadala ko sa group messenger namin,” said Omolon.
The 35-year-old Omolon was the Realtors’ first round pick in 2004 Rookie Draft and played for the franchise until its disbandment in 2010.
The Bukidnon dribbler has won three PBA crowns, one with SLR and the two others with the Beermen.
Omolon feels his teammates got some inspiration from that video as most of them have started mentioning the achievement of the Red Sox since.
“Nakatulong yun pinadala ni Bitoy (Omolon’s nickname) kasi kapag napag-uusapan ng team kung pano makabalik, yung Red Sox ang nababanggit,” said veteran banger Gabby Espinas.
The Red Sox are one of only seven teams in the history of team sports to have recovered from a 0-3 hole and eventually win the crown.
Six of those epic comebacks happened in hockey, four from the Stanley Cup (1942 finals, 1975 quarterfinals, 2010 Eastern Conference semis and 2014 Western Conference quarterfinals), one during the 2015 Gagarin Cup Western Conference Finals in Russia and another one in the 2012 SM-Liiga playoffs in Finland.
While it has yet to happen in basketball, Omolon has seen in their locker room the determination from his teammates in trying to achieve what was deemed impossible to accomplish.
“Hindi ko nakitaan na natitinag yung team kasi siguro mga betetrano na karamihan. Alam nila sa sari-sarili nila na kaya pa,” said Omolon.” Tsaka mas may materyal kami na makabalik sa series. Malaking bagay din na nasa isip namin na, oo, may nakabalik sa 0-3 pero sa basketball, kami pa lang ang makakagawa nun.” (DENNIS PRINCIPE)