Darlene Berberabe-Lim had to fulfill the role of head cheerleader for her daughter Jamie in the young karateka’s gold-medal bid recently in the Southeast Asian Games.

Fortunately, she has a wealth of experience in doing that job.

“Back then, I was known as Samboy Lim’s wife. So OK, fine, ‘Let’s go, Skywalker!’ Now?’ I’m known as Jamie’s mom,” she said, as she wiped away tears after her daughter won the gold.

Darlene used to cheer herself hoarse rallying behind Samboy during the cager’s daredevil PBA days, when the PBA legend earned the monikers “Skywalker” and “Dragon.” In the SEA Games, she cheered for another dragon as Jamie fought for the top prize in the women’s -61-kilogram kumite class.

Competing in the SEA Games in front of a vocal home crowd was something new for Jamie. Darlene? She was a little bit more familiar with the situation.

“I already know what to say, what to do,” she said. “I already had a tarpaulin [poster] ready.”

“I used to coach Samboy even if I knew nothing about basketball—and he pretends to listen. It’s the same here with Jamie. I’m acting like a coach even though I barely know anything [about karate],” she said with a chuckle.

Darlene continues egging on Samboy to this day as he continues to recuperate from a stroke.

“[Before the games], I texted Jaime: ‘Daddy is fighting every day to still be here with us to witness this moment,’” she said.

And more than Jaime’s gold, what moved Darlene the most was how much her daughter reminds her of Samboy, who was twice a SEA Games gold medalist.

“She’s got his discipline. She’s got his focus,” she said.

Darlene should know. She’s spent a lot of time being a face in the crowd, watching her husband and her daughter seize their moment.

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