TNT import Jeremy Tyler played down his confrontation with Ginebra reinforcement Charles Garcia late in their 96-92 win on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The two hulking imports were physical against each other and were captured by the cameras jawing at each other near the end of the match.
While Garcia refused to comment on their ‘beef,’ Tyler gave a little a bit of context to the exchange.
“In the course of the game, all athletes get tired and the first thing that goes away when you’re tired is your mind, your mindset,” explained Tyler.
“We had an exchange of words and I just said, ‘Hey you’re tired. You’re not thinking straight. Just take a breather. You don’t have to argue and let’s just play ball.’ It looked like a rough talk but that’s because we’re intense,” he added.
Tyler said that he knows Garcia now for about a decade.
“I played against him throughout my career a lot. I played against him in the D-League. I played against him just like Monday to Friday at the gym, at home, every week so I’m familiar with his game.”
Though Tyler finished with just two points after missing all of his five shots, it’s still a gallant performance from the first-time import as he was discharged from Cardinal Santos Hospital on the eve of the game due to gastroenteritis.
For as long as he contributed to his team’s win, all is well for him.
“As long as I play hard defense and set good screens. The guys stepped up and we all played great as a team and it was a great team win.”