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    Emotional Alabanza says sorry for snubbing Jai Reyes, Nueva Ecija

    Oct 20, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    JR Alabanza expressed his regrets for showing unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of the quarterfinal duel between his Uling Roasters-Butuan City and Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards in the preseason tournament of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup on Monday.

    "Yung moment na yun sobrang regretful sa akin. I regret what happened," he said.

    Gab Banal buried a pair of freebies with 5:46 left to put the game away, 21-10, but Alabanza just turned his back on his foes as they tried, and failed, to get even just a fistbump after the highly physical affair.

    "Yung emotions, sobrang high. Ang hirap matalo sa ganoong type ng game na pisikalan," admitted the 6-foot-5 center as he snubbed Banal, Jai Reyes, and Juan Gomez de Liano.

    He was the only one not to dab it with the Rice Vanguards as he walked away from the court at the game's end.

    "Sobrang taas ng emotions ko na pati shake hands, hindi ko nagawa," he said. "Gusto ko lang ipakita na I won't back down from any physicality."

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    Alabanza said that he did realize his wrongdoing shortly after, and apologized to those who took offense for his act.

    "Sa backcourt naman, na-realize ko na pangit para sa akin, pangit para sa team yung ginawa ko. Nagkaroon nga ako ng instant hater sa social media, but it's all part of the game," he said.

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      He also insisted that he had no ill will towards the opposition despite the bumps and bruises he gave and took.

      Banal, after all, was his former teammate in Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, where Gab's dad Joel served as a consultant for the Skippers back then.

      "Gab and I, we're good. Yung dad niya was my coach sa D-League," he said.

      "Siguro, sa game lang talaga. Emotions were high, I don't know. Ganun talaga siguro."
      ___

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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