Luck, plus miracle, made us win the Jones Cup in Taipei
By Al S. Mendoza
WE went to war half-prepared. That’s because we practiced only two weeks before plunging to action.
Still, we won.
Tsun Tzu might be turning in his grave. The author of The Art of War, if Tzu were around, might be hard-pressed figuring out how we did it.
I mean, to me, it’s not difficult to pin the reason why we prevailed.
Luck did it. Miracle, if you wish.
If you believe in luck, chances are it will happen.
If you believe in miracles, chances are they will happen.
We won the Jones Cup basketball title only last Sunday because of luck, plus miracle.
They say we create our own luck.
In a sense, that’s true.
Usually, the trick is, you do your best, and chances are you will be lucky to achieve your goal.
Again, as they say, when you are good, you are lucky.
We were good in Taipei in 8 of our 9 games, the reason we won the Jones Cup, one of the toughest tournaments in Asia since it usually attracts some of the best teams in the world.
Countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Japan, Korea, Iran and, yes, the United State were there.
Except for Lebanon, we beat them all.
Our victories were really not runaway wins. We struggled. We fought hard. We relied on our sheer resilience. In the end, luck was on our side.
The majority of our eight victories were virtual cliffhangers. Meaning, we pulled it out of the fire numerous times to escape with hairline triumphs.
Each time, luck was on our side.
Our last three games against Iran, Taiwan and the U.S. were shouting reminders that we could not have won the Jones Cup without luck being on our side.
All three wins were come-from-behind escape acts.
The win against Iran was really big because the Iranians, virtual giants against our much smaller squad, were the defending champions.
But the bigger one, if not the biggest, was the victory over the Americans, who were bannered by taller and NBA-bound players.
Against the U.S., we had been always down. At one point, we were 14 points down. With some 3 minutes left, we were still about 8 points behind.
Enter L.A. Tenorio. He fired triples in succession to cut the Americans’ lead.
Then, with the game virtually on the line, Tenorio sank the winning jumper for the Philippines’ 76-75 victory.
The irony of it all was that Tenorio, at 5-foot-8, was the smallest player on the court.
Did I not say that miracles also play crucial roles in every game?
It was a miracle that Tenorio, the smallest of them all, stood the tallest and made the Philippines champ in the Jones Cup.
And by miracle, this should be taken to mean God is on our side.
For, if we help create our luck by doing our best when embarking on a mission, the element of miracle happening in our favor will always be the work of God.
Dispute that and you could be branded an atheist.