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    Friendships set aside as Meralco faces 'lovable' Pinto in PBA Finals

    Apr 5, 2022
    Former Meralco player Nards Pinto finds himself on the other side in the PBA Finals.

    UPON Meralco’s arrival for the pre-PBA Finals press conference on Monday, Chris Newsome and Allein Maliksi headed straight to the Ginebra table to exchange pleasantries with former teammate and now Kings guard Nards Pinto.

    When the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals starts, Newsome said friendships will have to be set aside as the Bolts try to finally break their slump against the Gin Kings.

    “I love Nards. He is a great kid,” said Newsome, who played alongside Pinto during the most recent Ginebra-Meralco championship series. “He's a great teammate when he was with Meralco. We wish him the best while he was over there at Meralco.”

    No easing up

    Addressing directly to Pinto during the press conference, Newsome said: “While you are on the other side, you know us well enough that you know what is coming from us. We are not going to let down just because you were with us before.”


    Pinto played for the Bolts from 2019 to last year, when he signed with Ginebra as an unrestricted free agent and became a vital part of the Kings’ rotation in their run to the Governors’ Cup best-of-seven playoff.


      Meralco coach Norman Black shared the same fondness for Pinto, saying it is very difficult to hate a person that made the decision to leave their team for the benefit of his family.

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      “Newsome said it best. Even though he left us, he is a lovable guy. He is a great teammate. It’s hard to be upset with him. That’s for sure,” Black said.

      “Plus, he did what he did for his family. And nobody can blame him for that. Like New said, when the ball goes up, kalaban na,” Black added.


        Newsome said the Bolts will be doing their best to win the championship at the expense of a friend.

        “We are going to push you, get the best out of you, and we expect you to get the best out of us as well. When it comes to being on the court, we will just be going to come out there and compete and get the best out of each other,” said Newsome.


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        Former Meralco player Nards Pinto finds himself on the other side in the PBA Finals.
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