AS San Miguel Beer wrapped up practice at Acropolis gym on Saturday afternoon, three players stayed on the court for some extra work – Alex Cabagnot and David Semerad on one side and Gary David on the other.
After the pair on one side called it a day, David kept shooting with a ball boy for 20 more minutes like he was paying his dues all over again and still trying to make a name for himself in the PBA.
“Parang rookie,” David said with a smile as he finally ended his drill and sat down to chat with Spin.ph. “Ganun talaga eh.”
After all, the 12-year pro was just in his second practice with the Beermen, who acquired him from the free-agent market after Meralco dropped him like a hot potato.
David, a former Best Player of the Conference, knows he has to fight for his spot all over again in a new team, more so now than ever in an SMB side loaded in the wings.
“Whatever role they ask me to do, gagawin ko,” he said.
Hopefully he does this time after a complaint over lack of playing time - and a diminished role - caused his fallout with Bolts coach Norman Black.
As he starts over, David refused to dwell on the past.
“Tapos na yun eh,” David stressed. “Ayaw ko na rin pag-usapan. Nangyari na eh.”
“Nung nalaman ko na kinuha na ako ng San Miguel, tinext ko na siya (Black) tsaka si boss Al (Panlilio, Meralco team governor). Nagpaalam ako sa kanila ng maayos. Nag-sorry rin ako.”
Now, he’s relishing a fresh start with the Beermen, who have won three of the last four conference championships, and where David now has a chance to win the first title of his long career.
“Masaya ako kasi nasama ako sa championship-caliber na team,” David said. “Ito na 'yung pinakahihintay ko para makuha ko na yung championship ko sa PBA bago mag-retire. I’m so thankful sa SMB group for giving me a second chance.”
The 37-year-old cager, who has stayed in shape by joining practices of Lycuem, where’s he an assistant coach, joined the Beermen in a scrimmage for the first time on Saturday after firs reporting for duty the day before.
“Medyo nangangapa pa sa sistema ni coach, pero tumagal-tagal, nakukuha ko naman,” he said.
But David has no problems adjusting in terms of chemistry as he has been reunited with a handful of former teammates in Marcio Lassiter, Yancy de Ocampo, Arwind Santos, Gabby Espinas, Chris Ross, and Bitoy Omolon.
“Kaya sa samahan, hindi naman ako nangangapa,” he said. “Sa sitema lang talaga.”