FORMER Barangay Ginebra reserve Jericho de Guzman rarely saw minutes during his time in the PBA - but for the fans of the beloved franchise, a Ginebra player will always a Ginebra player.
Now playing for the Valenzuela Classic in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), the 6-11 big man was overwhelmed with the rock star treatment that he got from his homecrowd following their 96-94 win over Basilan Steel on Saturday.
De Guzman didn't even play long, logging just two points and a rebound in three-and-a-half minutes of action. But that didn't stop the crowd from mobbing him for selfies and autographs while showering him with the familiar 'Ginebra' chants.
"Grabe iba, iba ang pakiramdam ko sa natatanggap kong suporta sa Valenzuela. Sobrang grabe ang suporta nila. Nagpapasalamat kami dumalo sila sa gabing ito, lumabas sila kahit gabi na - pinanood nila kami at sinuportahan hanggang huli," said De Guzman.
"Hindi na ako nagulat kasi marami din naman mga Ginebra fans dito sa Valenzuela na sumusuporta sa team namin," he added.
Though he's still being used sparingly, logging a grand total of 10 minutes in their first two games, De Guzman is being patient when it comes to familiarizing himself with the system of the Classic.
The former College of St. Benilde slotman believes that he's slowly getting there.
"Okay naman ang adjustment ko. Natutulungan ako nila coach Chris Gavina at mga teammates ko para maka-adjust. Lahat naman kami nag-synch na kami. Lahat kami on the same page na," he added.
Whether he gets a bump in minutes or continues to play sparingly, De Guzman vowed to do everything in order to help his squad get over the hump, after losing in the semifinals last conference.
"Ang goal ko ay matulungan ko ang Valenzuela na makarating sa championship at matulungan ko sila na makuha yung Datu Cup."