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    Mixed feelings as ex-Meralco guard John Pinto wins first title with Ginebra

    Apr 22, 2022
    Nards Pinto celebrates Ginebra's championship with SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua.
    Nards Pinto celebrates Ginebra's championship with SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    NARDS Pinto cherished the first-ever PBA championship of his journeyman pro career after Barangay Ginebra retained the Governors' Cup title by closing out Meralco in six games on Friday night.

    But he also felt a tinge of sadness since he won it at the expense of his former team.

    "Siyempe may lungkot din kahit paano kasi sabi ko nga ang tagal ko rin silang kasama," said Pinto following the Kings' 103-92 win over the Bolts in Game Six at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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      "Nakita ninyo naman na sobrang close ko rin ang mga yun," he said.

      Pinto played two games for Meralco in the 2021 PBA Governors Cup before turning free agent at the turn of the year, which he took advantage of to sign with Ginebra.

      But he's with Ginebra now and he'll definitely enjoy being a champion for the very first time after a conference he started with the Meralco Bolts.

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      "Pero ganun talaga ang basketball. Ngayon nandito ako sa Ginebra, sobrang happy ako at blessed na nag-champion ako," said the guard out of Arellano University. "Sobrang saya. Walang akong salita na masabi kundi sobrang saya ko."

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      On Friday, he celebrated on court with San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua who shouted to mediamen around them: 'Di ko na isasauli ito,' pointing at his prized recruit.

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      He finished with five points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the closeout win which the Kings fashioned out before a record crowd of 20,224 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

      Ginebra celebrates another PBA championship.

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      Nards Pinto celebrates Ginebra's championship with SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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