Carl Argarin, Jonash Dannug
LOCKED IN. Letran sharpshooter Koy Galvelo participates in NCAA Season 94 three-point shoot out. Photo by Angela Davocol/The LANCE.
After missing the Letran Knights’ first seven games, Nicolo Galvelo is eager to redeem himself after a ‘ligang labas’ issue that sidelined him in the initial part of the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament.
During the first round, allegations slurred that the sharpshooter out of St. Claire played in a bush league a day after the NCAA eligibility meeting. As per NCAA rules, a player is not allowed to see action in any other league during the on-going season without the permission of his school.
However, prior to the start of the season, Knights head coach Jeff Napa had already known that Galvelo played in a game without the school’s blessing. Knowing the consequences, Napa opted not to field in Galvelo in Letran’s first seven games.
Napa clarified Galvelo’s situation in an earlier interview and defined his role to the team.
“Tinanong ako ni Fr. Vic [kung bakit ko siya ‘di pinapasok], may kasalanan ‘yan kaya ‘di ko pinapasok,” he said.
“Koy Galvelo is a big factor to our team. Hindi siya bangko. Very important person si Koy. Pero I have to sacrifice dahil sa rule na nilabag niya,” explained Napa.
During these times, Galvelo cannot do anything but to watch his brothers go to war without him. The former National University product watched from the sidelines as his teammates lose big games; including back-to-back meltdowns to arch-rival San Beda University Red Lions and last year’s runner-up Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates.
“Nung nasa dugout ako, nai-isip ko, bakit kaya ako ‘di ginagamit? Sobrang down na down ako, basta ini-isip ko lang sa sarili ko babawi ako sa mga susunod na game,” said Galvelo.
“Sa totoo lang, gusto ko talaga pumasok ‘nun. Kung pwede nga lang sabihin ko kay Coach Jeff na ‘coach pasok mo na ko,’ kaso ‘di talaga pwede kasi kailangan ko talagang sumunod,” Galvelo shared, as he acknowledges the consequences of his action.
After weeks of waiting, he could finally vent his frustration and show his hunger to prove himself to Napa and the team. Galvelo played his first game as a Knight last August 21, when Letran faced the Mapua University Cardinals.
“Syempre sobrang saya nakaka-excite para akong nanalo sa lotto eh, sobrang saya talaga, iba pala talaga ‘yung nakapag laro ka sa NCAA,” Galvelo happily said.
Though he only played limited minutes, Galvelo understands his role and the reason why coach Napa recruited him, saying: “’Di ako mawawalan ng pag-asa sa sarili, talagang titira lang ako ng titira, ‘dun niya ako kinuha eh,” he said.
Despite the controversies that impeded his first round campaign, Galvelo is eager to put these behind him and turn everything to motivation, as he sets his sight on the Knights’ second round campaign.
“Ayon, una sa lahat, sabi sakin ni coach Jeff na kailangan ko talagang pagtrabahuhan lahat. Especially ‘yung defense talaga, kasi kusang darating naman ‘yang offense mo once na dume-depensa ka ng maganda, sabi ni coach Jeff,” he said.
“Talagang mas pagbu-butihan ko pa. ‘Di ako magdadalawang isip na i-tira kasi alam ko na may tiwala sila sa akin. Gagawin ko lahat para lang makatulong sa team,” a motivated Galvelo added.