DYLAN Ababou says he's not taking anything personal against his former team as Barako Bull tackles Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The wingman had been buried at the end of the bench in his three seasons with the Gin Kings, before getting a revival of his young career when he was traded to Barako before the start of the season-ending conference.
“Wala naman akong iniisip na parang kailangan i-prove or vindication or something,” Ababou told Spin.ph hours before the 7 p.m. tipoff. “Happy lang ako na nakakalaro ako ulit. Nabigyan ulit ako ng opportunity ni God na makabalik, so dun lang ako nagfo-focus.”
“Kung ano man yung maging flow ng game mamaya, tingnan na lang natin,” added the former University of Santo Tomas star, who has averaged 15.1 minutes in nine games in his return to the team that drafted him. “Basta focus na lang ako sa mga bagay na may control ako.”
Ababou is one of eight former Ginebra players now at Barako. Joseph Yeo, Willy Wilson, and James Forrester last played for the Gin Kings, while JC Intal, Rico Maierhofer, Paolo Hubalde, and Chico Lanete made stopovers at Ginebra at one point in their respective careers.
And Ababou stressed they are all extra motivated, not for anything else, but just for mere fact they are facing the league’s most popular team.
“Lahat kasi ng teams pag kalaban Ginebra, mas lalong ginaganahan,” the 29-year-old cager said. “Kasi lahat nanonood eh. Kung baga, may edge lahat ng kalaban pag kalaban ang Ginebra.”
“Kahit maganda yung laro ng Ginebra, parang mas motivated pa rin yung kalaban eh. Yun yung disadvantage ng Ginebra,” he added.
The third-running Energy (6-3) are already assured of advancing to the postseason but are still seeking to secure a Top Four berth and a twice-to-beat edge, and are also looking to arrest a two-game slide, the last a heartbreaking 101-95 loss to Alaska last Saturday.
The Energy, though, should be wary of a Gin Kings side that is fighting for its playoff life as the Gin Kings are stuck in 10th spot with only three wins to show in nine outings.
“Basta never-say-die lang,” Ginebra star Japeth Aguilar said.
The Barako-Ginebra tussle follows a matchup between middle-of-the pack squads Rain or Shine (5-4) and Kia (4-4) at 4:15 p.m.