Mendoza: We win, we work, as onew

Al Mendoza

FROM the victorious battle cry “We Win As One” comes “We Work As One.”

Whoever coined those is a genius.

While the old one has a ring of unity, the new one has an added punch: Double the effort. Hard work. Add an extra effort

Really, there is no substitute to hard work, whether in sports or any sphere of endeavor.

Athlete, it’s done this way.

When call time for practice is 9 a.m., arrive at the gym one hour early.

Make that a habit and you will improve faster than the rest, reap the dividends fastest.

The legendary Allan Caidic always arrived earliest during practice.

By the time his teammates had arrived at the basketball arena, he had already shot the ball at least 1,000 times.

Called “The Triggerman” in his heyday, Caidic the lefty will go down in history as one of the country’s deadliest shooters from three-point country.

Kawhi Leonard, now with the Los Angeles Clippers after serving as architect of Toronto’s 2019 NBA triumph, used to play football, his father’s sport.

His Dad was so happy when Kawhi took up football that he personally trained his kid.

But after some time, Kawhi lost interest in football and switched to basketball.

His Dad’s joy turned to grief.

But only in the beginning.

When he saw Kawhi really determined to pursue basketball, he had but one advice: “Put your heart into the game and you will succeed.”

Kawhi promised his Dad: At 5 a.m. every day for one year—365 days in all—he’d be at the gym working out, at times lasting four hours.

Kawhi Leonard today is a tower too tall to scale and is easily bound for the Hall of Fame.

Back home, we won playing as one in the just-ended 30th SEA Games. I’m sure our 149 winning golds was the result of that “extra mile” exerted by our athletes.

Now, if we work as one again for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Olympic gold that has been eluding us since our first stint in the Games in 1924 might be catchable—finally.

Believe in Yulo, Obiena, Petecio, Diaz, Didal and all and it can, will, be done.

We work harder, always, and make possible the impossible dream.