Gabby Espinas only too willing to ditch bald look if long afro continues to bring SMB luck
Gabby Espinas is the latest member of the Beermen's long-hair revolution. Jerome Ascano

WINNING is not just the trend at San Miguel Beer, but also sporting long hairstyles.

Gabby Espinas has joined the Beermen's long-hair revolution started by teammates Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, and Brian Heruela.

Long sporting a clean-shaven head, Espinas has grown his hair long enough to be an afro that only few people with curly hair can pull off.

“Na-uso lang dito (yung long hair), so ayun, nakikisama lang tayo, so pakapalin na lang din natin,” Espinas said in a short chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Tuesday the eve of Game Four of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia.

As his hair grows, so is his recovery from a torn meniscus injury that prompted him to have a minor cleaning operation in the offseason, causing him to miss the first few games of the season.

“So far, so good. Nakaka-recover na paunti-unti,” the 36-year-old power forward said. “Yung ginagawa ko every magsimula yung practice – shooting, nagdi-drills, kasi kailangan ko humabol sa condition, ‘di ba? Yun lang.

“Wala namang special training kasi ang lakas naman ng team namin, so nakikisaling-pusa lang,” the former NCAA MVP out of Philippine Christian University added with a smile.

“Parang malapit na rin (bumalik sa 100 percent), kaya pa-condition pa rin,” he continued.

Indeed, Espinas looks like he’s back in top shape as he had his best-scoring game of the conference in Game Two, tallying nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, including one triple, two rebounds, two assists, and one block in 19 minutes in their 111-87 win.

Conspiring with Brian Heruela to lead the bench mob, Espinas underlined the importance of the production of the  second unit that will make the Beermen even tougher to defend.

“Nung Game One, natalo kami, one point lang yung bench, ‘di ba? So siguro iniisip din namin na – hindi man sa opensa – maka-depensa kami para kahit papaano, makakapagpahinga yung first five namin,” Espinas said.

“Yung opensa naman, bonus na lang yun; pag naka-shoot ka, parang okay, pero kailangan mong dumepensa pa rin,” he added.

And has his afro hair affected his recent solid play?

“Wala naman (factor). Style lang sa buhok yan,” Espinas insisted. “Hindi kasali sa basketball yan. Yung pina-practice namin, yun lang yung lumalabas sa game.”

But if it brings good luck, he won’t mind growing it longer.

“Sana. Tingnan natin. Pag swerte, why not, ‘di ba?” he ended.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos