"I WASN'T showing off."
So said Rey Guevarra, the seldom used Meralco forward who became the toast of the PBA All-Star Week on Saturday when he won the MVP award in the Greats vs Stalwarts Game and shared the slam-dunk title with San Mig rookie sensation Justin Melton.
The Meralco forward surprised the judges and the viewers on Friday night when he held his own against Melton in the slam dunk contest. Later in the night, he scored 34 points for the Greats in the game against the Stalwarts which ended in a 136-all standoff.
Despite the big night, the former Letran standout insisted he didn't go out to make a statement for more playing time, insisting he only wanted to please the fans.
"Hindi ko naman talaga habol mag-MVP, gusto ko lang 'yung mga taong nanonood mag-enjoy sila, sa mga dunk, sa laro, sa lahat, mapasaya namin sila," Guevarra said when he emerged from the Greats' dugout at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"'Yun na ang kaligayahan namin (players), 'yung mabalik namin sa kanila (fans) ang supporta nila sa amin."
Although Melton was the clear favorite and crowd darling in the slam dunk side event, not too many remember that Guevarra had also carved a reputation as a dunker in his early years.
Guevarra won a dunk contest when he was still with Letran in the 2005 and 2007 Bantay Bata 163 Charity exhibition as well as in the defunct Philippine Basketball League when he was still playing for Toyota Otis in 2007.
The Meralco reserve said it was his family that motivated him to give his all in the competition.
"Inspiration ko ang family ko, sabi nila gawin mo lang makakaya mo, lalo sa dunk (contest) malalakas mga kalaban ko so 'yung kaya ko lang gawin, kung ano lang makakaya ko."
Asked if he was out to send a message to his coach, Guevarra said an All-Star game is totally different from a regular game.
"Syempre iba naman yung All-Star, iba sa team. May sinusunod kami na systema, may rotation," he said. "Basta ako, go hard lang sa team namin, kung ano ang kailangan sa akin, 'yun ang ibibigay ko."