SAN Miguel Beer forward Gabby Espinas insisted he was only triggered by an expletive hurled at him by Ginebra player Japeth Aguilar’s father that sparked a heated confrontation on the court in their PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinal match on Wednesday.
The incident broke after Espinas was seen having a verbal spat with former PBA player Peter Aguilar, who was sitting at courtside, in the dying seconds of the third quarter.
The lanky Ginebra forward then confronted Espinas after Brownlee made his first free throw with 1.5 ticks left. Both were whistled for a technical foul. Gin Kings coach Tim Cone was also assessed a tech for entering the court.
Espinas later claimed he heard Peter cuss at him after he was called for a foul on Brownlee.
"Nung bumagsak si Brownlee, parang minura ako ng dad niya," he said in the aftermath of Ginebra's 104-74 win over the Beermen.
"Yung dad niya, ewan ko kung naging player ba dati yun, bat ganun yung... Diba as a player naman alam mo naman yung sinasadya sa di sinasadya? Bat kailangan niya 'kong murahin?"
With much at stake, it was only normal that things went a little physical according to the former Philippine Christian University standout.
"Pag player ka dati, papanoorin mo yung ganitong laban syempre ibang level na 'to. Kailangan mas intense na yung depensahan, tapos magrereact ka ng ganun," he said.
The lefty forward apologized if it didn't sit well with Peter.
"Ayoko na magsalita kasi may mga anak din ako. Siguro naaapektuhan siya pag sinasaktan anak niya. Kung ganun yung interpretation niya, di sorry kung nasaktan ko yung anak niya."
Espinas is now putting this all behind.
"Laro lang naman 'to, basketball lang, ba't kailangan mo magpaapekto sa ganun. Pero congratulations sa kanila, nanalo sila. Sana magchampion sila," he said.