HERBERT Hill knows there are consequences when you don't meet the expectations of the popular Brgy. Ginebra team and its multitude of fans.
And he has vowed to rise above it.
Coming off a sub-par debut performance in Ginebra's loss to Air21 on Sunday, the 6-foot-10 Hill admitted getting not only rude comments from from fans, but likewise hate messages on his mobile phone.
Hill was a bit emotional when he made the stirring revelation to Spin.ph on Thursday, four days following the cold reception he got from Ginebra fans in the aftermath of his modest 17-point production – on 7-of-24 shooting - in a 70-74 loss to Air21 Express.
“I try not to pay attention to what people say. This is the most popular team, and if it loses a game … people’s gonna be upset about it,” said Hill, well aware of the passion of Ginebra fans.
A source from the Kings organization confirmed to Spin.ph that indeed, to their surprise, Hill received some negative text messages on his phone, mostly in Filipino.
“Huwag ka mag practice… Wala ka rin namang silbi,” read one of the messages the source recalled to have been sent to Hill.
Ginebra officials themselves are at a loss on how some fans were able to track down Hill’s personal number.
But the 28-year-old American seemed bent on ignoring the negativism.
“It’s not a big deal to me. I just have to show what I can do. I didn’t play the way I wanted to in the beginning of the game,” said Hill, who was once drafted by the Utah Jazz.
“It’s (the game) over now, there’s nothing I can do about it but learn from it.”
He added: “I was like zero percent of the old me in our last game. I was a little excited and nervous, that’s why I missed shots in the beginning. It comes with the territory. I’ll just play my best and play for my teammates, coaches, and people that support me.”
But Hill vows to be a better player in the Kings’ game against Globalport Batang Pier on Friday.
“I am so excited about our game tomorrow (Friday)... Whatever happens after that, I’ll just leave that on the court. You can’t change what people see in you,” he said.
In the wake of reports about his impending exit from Ginebra, the big man out of Providence replied, “honestly, I don’t really worry about that. I just worry about the job at hand. Right now, I’m (still) here and hopefully we will win tomorrow (Friday).
“If it doesn’t work out and they (Ginebra management) decide to make a move, it’s not yet the end of the world. There are other leagues to play. This is not the only league in the world.”
Hill has not denied that following his stint with the Incheon Elephants in the Korean Basketball League last April, the game against Air 21 was his first competitive one in nine months.
But he said he’s been giving himself extra training to bring his old form back.
And to his critics who had judged him according to what they saw in his first game, Hill has this one urgent message.
“Stay tuned,” he said.