THE parting of ways for Kelly Nabong and Meralco wasn't exactly cordial.
But better believe Nabong when the power forward said he holds no grudge against his former team.
“It’s been water under the bridge,” said Nabong of that incident during Game One of last season’s Governors Cup semifinals against the Star Hotshots in which he had an shouting match at the bench with then Meralco deputy Jimmy Alapag.
The heated exchange of words led to Nabong’s suspension, and later on, to his departure from the team.
But as they say, past is past.
“The day after it happened, it’s been water under the bridge,” the brawny Fil-American player stressed. “No hard feelings on nobody. Everything happened for a reason.”
Three months after, Nabong crossed paths with his former team for the first time in the season-opening Philippine Cup and showed the Bolts what they missed from him.
The 29-year-old was in a zone right from the get-go, scoring 12 of his 17 points in the first half as Globalport raced to an early sizeable lead and never looked back to hand Meralco a 107-88 beating on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
For good measure, Nabong shot 6-of-11 from the field and grabbed 17 rebounds in helping the Batang Pier deal the Bolts their third loss in six outings and improve to a 3-3 mark.
Despite the constant show of emotions with every basket he made, Nabong said he wasn't on a revenge mission against his former ballclub.
“It’s just like any other game. There’s nothing really (into it), but it feels good to win against them,” said the native of Sacramento, California.
“There’s always motivation for me playing against one of your former teammates or former coach. But I’m with Globalport now, and we’re really glad we got this win,” he said.
Even though he’s no longer with Meralco, Nabong said he stayed in constant touch with some of the Bolts.
“I talk to all the players. I have no problem with the players. They’re all great guys over there,” he said. “To this day, we still talk.”
He however, didn’t mention anything about Meralco’s coaching staff under champion mentor Norman Black.
Instead, he expressed how grateful he is to Globalport management and coach Pido Jarencio for giving him a new lease on life.
“I always say thank you to coach Pido. He’s always been giving all the players the confidence in what they do and how they do it,” said Nabong. “We have a great coach, great management. They let us play basketball and that’s what we came to do (against Meralco).”