NINO Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos insisted they weren’t trying to make a statement against their former team on Friday night when Mahindra defeated NLEX, 103-93, in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
The former Road Warriors forwards, traded to the Enforcers in the offseason, put up solid numbers against NLEX, scoring a team-high-tying 14 points each to help their team register its first victory in the season-opening conference.
“Wala naman (statement),” Ramos said. “Nag-prepare lang kami ng maayos at siguro lumabas lang sa game.”
“Hindi naman lang today (kailangan maganda laro),” added the former Gilas Pilipinas pool member, who made both his three-point attempts and hauled down six boards in 21 minutes. “Siguro every game dapat, ‘di ba? Yun lang yung approach ko.”
While stressing it was nothing personal, Canaleta admitted having derived extra satisfaction from getting the team’s first win at the expense of the Road Warriors.
“Nothing personal, basta matalo ko lang sila, okay na ako dun,” the veteran forward said. “Pero wala namang personal matter.”
“Parang mas masarap yung feeling (na sila yung tinalo namin),” he added. “Hindi ko alam bakit, pero masarap.”
Ramos admitted he initially felt weird facing his former teammates, some of them he had been with since they carried the Air21 banner.
“Yung una, medyo nakakailang syempre, kasi mga kaibigan ko rin yun at matagal din kami nagsama,” he said. “Pero that’s part of being a basketball player. Laro lang.”