Ball Is Life

I still find it surreal that I'm playing real basketball with Lucas, my eldest son turning 11 this month, at our small makeshift half court at home. Matteo, now 8, also plays but not as intense and as dedicated as Lucas (he plays hours in the afternoon and waits for me in the evenings to play 1on1).
At the missus' friend's house a few weeks ago. Our court at home doesn't look better, hehe.

The missus and I bought a standard sized hoopset (with matching NBA logo) at one of the sports stores in Robinsons Magnolia last Christmas. It was our gift for them then, in the hopes that maybe they could be the next Teng brothers sensation in La Salle in the future. ;-) I set the height of the ring as standard as possible ---maybe a difference of 6 or so inches from the standard height. But it serves it's purpose as the boys make full use of it, especially Lucas.

Last night's 1on1 game against Lucas was typical as in any other night we played. It was preceded by a 2vs1 game wherein Matteo and I teamed up, beating him handsomely (as usual).

Onto the 1on1 game, it was as competitive as before, with me trying my best to emulate Kobe's turnaround shot and step back jumpers. I may have slightly went overboard on the taunts as the shots went in ("swoosh!") but Lucas didn't seem to mind....

...until he was getting crushed on the score line.

The game ended at 10-5 or 10-7 I think, with me winning the game. By the time I went off to rest, I saw Lucas about to cry but, like a man, tried his best to keep it to himself as he practiced his shots.

I challenged him to a recovery game of 21 which he obliged. He whispered to me "[Give me] no pity."

Again, I beat him (21-17). He grabbed the ball and was dribbling and shooting to recover. But this time the disappointment of his 3 game loss was more obvious, with Lucas almost about to pour his eyes out with matching hikbi.

I talked to him on how he should approach this setback, that he should man up, that it's just a game, and that there'll be a winner and loser in every game. I forgot the other phrases that I said, but I hope he got what I was driving at. The missus talked to him for a few minutes too when I left.

As a parent it is automatic that we should give all the best that our children should have. They are our most precious blessings and as such, we want to make sure they get everything ---including winning. But in basketball, I will NOT go easy on him for this is the only way he'll learn and improve. In basketball and in life, nothing is fair. He must learn to accept that. If I always set myself to lose, he won't be able to cope out there when the going gets really tough.

Just like how Michael Jordan's brother would beat him in their backyard games, I will take that role (with a heavy heart) of beating Lucas in basketball for this'll be the only way that he will try to find a way to beat me.....and perhaps become one of the best basketball players EVER to carry the Punsalan name on his jersey.

Lucas, if you find this post later on, know that I want you and Matteo to be the best that you can be ---whatever you want to pursue in life. Don't give a damn on what other people say ---especially if you lose. Just pick yourself up, get back into the game, and do your hardest (and smartest) to win!


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