IS it becoming a habit for Gerry Abadiano to get ejected in Nazareth School of National University's title-clinching games?
It seems like it as it was the case again in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals, where the Batang Gilas mainstay hit the showers with less than four minutes remaining in the championship game against La Salle Greenhills on Sunday after being whistled with his second unsportsmanlike foul.
Abadiano is no stranger to getting sent to the dugout early.
He got sent to the locker room with a quarter still to be played in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 juniors' Finals back in February.
But for Abadiano, he'd rather not dwell on that.
"Siguro, wag na natin pagusapan yun," the 18-year-old court general said with a smile, maintaining that he has no bad intentions with the fouls he's giving up.
What's more important, Abadiano said, is that the Bullpups get the job done despite his absence.
"Ang importante, champion kami. Hindi ko naman kontrolado ang mga tawag ng referee. Kung ano man ang tawag ng referee, maglalaro lang ako. Ang importante, nandyan ang teammates ko, nandyan sila kaya namin nakuha ang championship," he said.
NU went on and took the 95-83 triumph over LSGH to become the first ever back-to-back NBTC Division 1 champions, with Carl Tamayo pouring 24 points and 18 rebounds and Terrence Fortea erupting for 23 points banking on four triples.
"Sobrang saya lang namin kasi nag-champion kami, hindi lang sa UAAP kundi pati sa NBTC. Sobrang blessed namin," said the 5-foot-11 Abadiano, who wound up with 10 points and two boards in the conquest.
As much as the second straight NBTC championship cemented the Bullpups as the standard when it comes to high school basketball, Abadiano said that every game is still a chance for the boys of coach Goldwin Monteverde to learn and improve.
"Napakaraming learnings nito para sa amin. Dapat i-treat namin every game as usual, tulad pag nasa UAAP kami. Hindi namin tinitignan kung galing sila sa province o hindi. Same approach pa rin kahit sino ang kalaban," he said.