When the news of his father's demise was broken to him late on Saturday 28 July, the world of Masinde Muliro University forward Timothy Mmasi (pictured - middle) came down crushing.
Broken and downcast, he left his team mates to view his fathers remains at a hospital within Eldoret town. His father Aggrey Mmasi, 56, had been admitted in the North Rift city following an accident earlier on Wednesday.
The mourning Mmasi junior left knowing he'd not return for day two activities at Sepetuka at the Eldoret Sports Club as he needed to stay and condole with family.
But pursuations from his coach Dr. Ochieng Ahaya got him back for Sunday, albeit as a spectator.
Notwithstanding, the misfortunes and lows of Saturday night woke the fighter in him to great acclaim.
"The coach talked to me and told me the best way to deal with the unfortunate situation was to come and play. As much as I said yes my thoughts were I was only coming to watch, not play,"
"But my teammates cheered me up and urged me to take up my position and I agreed," said the first year Business Studies Diploma student at MMUST.
"I was quite low in the first game (against Mwamba that they lost 12-10 during final play) but I was back to my usual self thereafter. Returning to the game turned the sadness around and got me going." admitted the ex Malava Boys student.
He was to push his team to the fifth place finals after taking out a fancied Impala Saracens in the semis.
On day one his team recovered from a defeat to eventual winners Homeboyz to claw Menengai Oilers and Mean Machine for a place in the cup quarters with a performance that hogged the headlines.
Captain Samuel Mbeche talked of Mmasi's immense contribution despite being troubled by his father's hospitalisation and passing on after.
"He knew his father was in hospital admitted but that only seemed to spur him especially on day one where he was simply outstanding for the team,"
"We mourned with him when the news of his father's death came through. We chose to be strong about it and play for him and we were more than glad that he even agreed to return and play on day two. He showed character and as a team we supported him on as well as off the field,"
His coach Dr. Ahaya had this to say; "He has a very strong character and is very courageous. It really affected him and he was teary on Sunday morning. Being with his teammates really changed that and the pressures of the game temporarily made him forget about it."
Ultimately Mmasi's strength of character was duly rewarded as it earned him a place in the best of the best list after being named in the all star seven at the close of Sepetuka Sevens alongside Charles Omondi, Johnstone Olindi and Mark Wandeto all from Homeboyz, Ronnie Omondi and Daniel Taabu from Mwamba and Philip Kwame of Nakuru.
That recognition surprised Mmasi who turned out for National Sevens champs Kabras Sugar at Kabeberi and Driftwood Sevens last season. He has fresh impetus to ride on.
"To be recognised has given me great hope. This will make me work even harder in upcoming tournaments,"
"I now have the belief that with added energy I can reach my ultimate goal which is to turn out for Kenya Sevens." Summed Mmasi
As he shared his long term focus, his team MMUST has shared the itinerary for his father's internment which will be done at Mutsuma, Webuye on Saturday 4 August.
Any contribution to aid in lightening logistics and bills can be channelled through MMUST skipper Mbeche on 0721768900.