Former ONE flyweight champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio is proud to see that the next generation of Team Lakay is now gaining recognition all over the world.
Eustaquio, one of the earliest stars from the famous Benguet-based stable, knows that it’s time for the young guns to show up, and he’s happy to see them live up to the billing.
After all, he believes that the performances of these athletes also reflect the experiences the veterans have garnered throughout the years.
“Honestly, I’m just so proud to see these young guys. We’re excited to show you guys the collection of our experiences. The young guys, the next batch, they’re the collection of our experiences,” Eustaquio said.
“We have to deal with the fact that we (veterans) did the dirty work and went through the dirty road. We travelled the rough road and we shared those experiences with them.
“The beautiful thing about Team Lakay is how we consider everyone family, and one of our goals was to share all those things with our next generation. Now we’re excited to see the collection of our experiences in our next generation.”
The veterans’ hard work certainly wasn't in vain as the new generation has been looking the part in ONE Championship.
ONE strawweight champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio remains the lone Filipino titlist, while guys like Danny “The King” Kingad and Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang have also churned out impressive performances.
There are also new guys coming in, starting with Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, Jeremy Pacatiw, and Jhanlo Sangiao.
What makes Eustaquio proud is that these kids have always referred to their seniors with high regard despite their early success on the ONE stage.
“It’s so fulfilling that I became part of the making of a young athlete’s career. I’m also happy to hear that despite their achievements now, the recognition that they’re getting now, they aren’t forgetting who were with them when they were just starting,” Eustaquio said.
“It’s a very, very needed attitude if you want to become a world champion. I think that’s basic. Even our national hero in Jose Rizal said, ‘He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.’ So I am happy and proud that they look at it that way.”
But with the next generation coming up, talks of the old guard retiring can’t be avoided. For Eustaquio, though, that’s fine. For as long as his younger brothers keep winning, then fans can talk all they want.
“If people want to count us out because the next generation is coming up, and then the next generation turns out to be world champions, then I’m proud of that,” Eustaquio said.
“We always say, ‘What one person on the team achieves, we achieve as a family.’ So I have no problem with it.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES