Tulabut: Of winning and losing

IS THERE glory in losing?

NBA champion guard Dwayne Wade was once quoted as saying “guys who might not be superstars but because of their hustle, because of the little things they do, these are the guys who can really mean the difference between winning and losing.”

Reading this, I am only reminded of the success of the NLEX Road Warriors in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup. They were able to reach the semi-finals but only to lose to the Magnolia squad. But their heads are up. So should they be as this is their most successful finish since joining the play-for-play league.

The Road Warriors, although souped up with the acquisition of rookie Kiefer Ravena, were not favored to reach the semis. But with chemistry, determination, dynamism they managed to climb in the rankings.

Add the brilliant coaching of Yeng Guiao and motivation by the NLEX management led by top honcho Rod Franco. Together they found unpolished gems that later shone brightly in their successful campaign. The plays and hustle of Capampangan Michael Miranda (from Sta. Ana) and center Raul Soyud helped made up for NLEX’s unprecedented performance in the PBA.

Miranda was key player in their quarterfinal wins against Alaska Aces that propelled the team to advance to semis while Soyud was solid in his defense, ably filling in the void left by bigman Enrico Villanueva who spent last season in NLEX jersey. These virtually unknown players are now marked men.

Little things to some, their contributions spelled a big difference. They were a revelation (in same vein that Prince Caperal of Ginebra who fared very well with 26 points in his coming-out party in one semis game).

From a team that occupied the cellar in the standings few seasons ago, NLEX has become a team to watch (and fear) with the combination of youth and veterans in its roster. Cyrus Baguio is having a resurrected career.

JR Quinahan remains as a big force. Alex Mallari’s sweet shooting and drives to the hoop are so valuable. Larry Fonacier is still deadly from the rainbow country. Asi Taulava and Rabeh Al-Hussaini are formidable fortresses in the paint.

Emman Monfort and Juami Tiongson are legit guards and shooters who can help Kiefer. Too bad Kevin Alas got injured but he is a natural wonder with good playmaking abilities and a fearless slasher.

While I may not be known as a sports analyst, I could analyze though what makes a true champion. The mere turnaround from one of the league’s most whipped up teams into a real contender is already in itself a champion act, a victory that will always be known and seen.


I know what winning ways are. And these were exemplified by not just bringing home top plums but also by mere recognitions -- the acclaim.

From losing a semis match, NLEX Corp (and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation or MPTC) emerged as winners when it brought home two trophies in the recent Anvil Awards – considered as the “Oscars” in public relations.

The MPTC Omnibus AVP – a multimedia PR Tool that communicates the benefits of MPTC’s road projects such as helping decongest traffic and boosting the country’s economy – won a Silver Anvil Award.

NLEX Corporation’s CSR program titled “NLEX-SCTEX Eye Care Project: See Clearly, Drive Safely” also bagged a Silver Anvil for promoting road safety by instilling among drivers the importance of good vision when driving.

An award like Anvil – a trophy coveted by not just PR practitioners but also by corporate executives – is a badge of hard work, zeal, creativity and remarkable goodwill that are enshrined in that piece of shining metal. NLEX Corp now has 14 of these, including a Grand Anvil it was feted with not too long ago.

Anvil is outstanding PR exemplified. NLEX president Rod Franco, a soft-spoken man that he is, exudes this. He does not only concern himself with revenues but also with a genuine service through safe and convenient travel for its clientele.

Now I will be remiss if I don’t mention here his chief PR tactician in Kit Ventura (and team) together with Communications bright man Romulo Quimbo in this feather-in-the-cap achievement.

Of winning and losing, NLEX knows best the former.
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