FACING his ex-college teammates on Monday in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup felt a little weird at first for Dan Sara.
But once the referee blew his whistle to start the game, Sara was quick to put his focus on helping Batangas pull the rug from under Cignal-San Beda.
Yet even as his team got blown out by Cignal, 95-68, Sara was all smiles despite the bittersweet experience.
"As a player and as a person, I'm very competitive. I don't mind my opponents," said Sara after facing off with his former San Beda teammates like Davon Potts, Javee Mocon, and Ben Adamos.
"Dormmates ko naman sila. Nagu-usap kami what to do, just play our game. We're here to compete not to throw the game away. Masaya naman ako, at the same time malungkot kasi talo kami," he added, referring to his former comrades.
But for someone who's so used to winning with the Red Lions, Sara curiously finds comfort playing for a team lurking in the lower half of the standings.
"Sobrang okay sa akin, kasi kaya ko din naisipan na wag muna sa San Beda to learn more sa basketball," said Sara, whose team absorbed its fourth loss in five games on Monday.
"Parang hindi pa sapat natutunan ko over the years na naglaro ako sa college. In the pros iba talaga e, different system," he added.
The former San Beda skipper also chose to step out of his comfort zone with the Red Lions and carve his own niche in learning a new system under Batangas coach Eric Gonzales.
"Like what coach said, stay as a team lang whether we win or lose. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn," he said.