MANILA, Philippines -- Eloy Poligrates has a chip on his shoulder after signing with Rizal-Xentro Mall for the fourth season of the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).
The former PBA cager inked a one-year deal with the Golden Coolers, hungry to prove himself after being left unsigned by Marinerong Pilipino for the new season of the PBA D-League.
Poligrates had expected to return to the Skippers after an impressive run in the 2019 Foundation Cup that saw him win MVP honors and lead the team to the finals.
However, Marinerong Pilipino had other plans.
"Sana maipakita ko sa kanila na nagkamali sila sa pinili nilang desisyon," said Poligrates, an explosive guard who once scored 67 points in a game during the Foundation Cup.
Poligrates believes that Rizal is the best place for him to do just that.
"Sa Rizal, sabi ko naman sa kanila, kung pagbibigyan nila ako ng pagkakataon para ipakita kung anong laro ko, 'yun," said Poligrates.
Rizal will be his third team in the MPBL, after playing a combined 10 games for Cebu City-Casino Ethyl Alcohol and Val City Carga Backload Solution.
Still, the 32-year-old Cebuano guard is not losing sight of his main goal -- to help Rizal reach greater heights.
The Golden Coolers endured a disastrous campaign in the 2019-20 Lakan Cup, as they finished with a 7-22 record. It marked the second straight season that they missed the playoffs.
Poligrates is aware of the stiff challenge they are facing, but he is more than willing to take it on with the help of his teammates and coaches.
"Mas gusto ko 'yung alanganin na team para, kumbaga, kung maaangat ko 'to, sama-sama kami lahat. Hindi naman tayo si Superman na kaya natin buhatin lahat, 'di ba?," he said with a chuckle.
"Magtutulungan kami, para 'yung pangalan namin mabango ulit kung maiaangat namin 'tong team na 'to. Pagtutulungan namin. Sinasabi ko lang din sa coaches, tulong-tulong kami."
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