source: Reynaldo Belen | InterAKTV
After a sizzling run in the Philippine Cup where he led the Powerade Tigers to a Cinderella run to the finals, Gary David emerged as the PBA’s newest hero.
But he found himself playing the heel Sunday night, as fans showered him a chorus of boos during the Tigers’ game against the B-MEG Llamados, the victims of David’s supernova explosion in the quarterfinals of the last conference.
“May mga fans kasi na hindi pa maka-move on, kaya expected ko na yan,” David told InterAKTV moments after the Tigers lost to the Llamados, 96-94, in another nip-tuck encounter.
“Bago pa lang magsimula yung laro, may mga nababasa na ako sa Twitter.”
David said he wasn’t bothered by the sudden change of reception by the fans.
“Concentrated ako sa laro kaya hindi ako apektado.”
David’s wife Jenn said her husband never gets affected by what fans say outside the court.
“Hindi ko siya nakitang apektado. Kilala ko si Gary, hindi siya basta basta naapektuhan nu’ng mga sinasabi or sinisigaw ng fans,” she said.
Powerade coach Bo Perasol believes it’s perfectly normal for B-MEG fans to feel enmity toward David.
“It’s a way to distract Gary because they felt Gary was the main reason why they lost in the quarterfinals of last conference,” he said.
“And we have to remember, most of those fans watching [last conference] were B-MEG fans.”
Amid the booing, David cupped his hands over both his hears, encouraging fans to go louder. It didn’t seem to affect David’s play on the court; he scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as he led a last-minute Powerade uprising to almost seal the win.
“I was trying to pace myself kaya medyo slow start ako,” said David. “Pero sa early stage pa lang ng laro, may mga free throws talaga ako na gumigilid, pakiramdam ko hindi magiging maganda shooting ko.”
Fans of B-MEG might have had the last laugh, after David muffed two free throws in the dying seconds that could have forced overtime.
“Yung pag-release ko pa lang ng unang free throw, alam ko na hindi papasok dahil gumilid yung tira ko. Kaya yung second free throw, sinigurado ko na.”
He said he intentionally missed the last free throw.
“Yung huling free throw, may instruction sa akin na isablay ko kasi wala na kaming timeout and kukulangin na kami sa oras kapag ipinasok ko pa, so sinablay ko na.”
After the miss, the Tigers missed two potential game-tying putbacks from Sean Anthony and Dwayne Jones. Marc Pingris dove for the loose ball and secured the leather as time expired, allowing B-MEG to escape with the win.