IT didn’t take long for Jeff Chan to join his new team after being traded by Phoenix to Barangay Ginebra.
More like a few seconds.
The veteran gunner was at Phoenix practice when he was informed by head coach Louie Alas about the trade that sent him to Ginebra in exchange for a future first-round pick.
Ironically, both Phoenix and Ginebra hold practice in the same facility - the Upper Deck Sports Center in Ortigas , Pasig City - and at almost the same time.
So when the long-rumored deal finally went down, Chan, 34, simply had to transfer from one court to another.
“Kinausap ako ni coach Louie and sinabi niya na natuloy na rin yung trade,” Chan related to SPIN.ph a few minutes after it was finally consummated.
“Siyempre nagulat pa rin ako. Natural na reaksiyon pa rin ng isang player yun,” added the pride of Bacolod City, who nonetheless, admitted already hearing the rumors a number of times.
Chan was already in a Phoenix practice uniform when informed about it.
“Kasama pa nga ako sa viewing,” he said with a laugh. “Kaya nung sinabihan ako na hindi na ako magpa-practice, pumunta na lang ako sa team at nagpaalam, sa mga teammates ko, sa utility, sa coaching staff.”
Chan, unwittingly, ended his Phoenix stint with a bang. He exploded for 23 first-half points and finished with 26 in a loss to his former team Rain or Shine, 108-106.
The scoring spree, he said, wasn't his way of bidding goodbye to a franchise he has been with for less than a year.
“Wala. Honestly, kanina ko lang talaga nalaman 'yung trade. That time laro lang talaga ako,” he said.
“And every game naman, I always give my best. Kasi if you start thinking about the trade, baka lalo lang mapasama (ang laro mo),” said the former Far Eastern University gunner.
While Chan feels down leaving the Fuel Masters in tatters – the team is currently on a four-game skid and on the verge of missing the playoffs of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup – he is excited about joining a popular franchise known for its championship tradition.
“New start. And siyempre Ginebra ito,” he said. “But just like any other player, kailangan mo pa rin earn 'yung minutes mo, yung trust ng coaching staff. So work hard pa rin.”
Shortly after, Chan had to excuse himself as he’s already being asked by Ginebra to report to the team practice at the other court of the Upper Deck facility.
“Tinatawag na ako sa kabila. Tawid lang muna ako,” he said before hanging up.