JONJON Gabriel regretted hitting Calvin Abueva in the face that cut short his already limited playing time for Columbian Dyip in the team’s 134-103 loss to Alaska in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night.
In his conference debut, the 11th overall pick in the last PBA draft made a good first impression by throwing down a dunk and scoring a layup in his first few possessions after coming in halfway through the third quarter.
But his exposure was abruptly cut short when he hit a driving Abueva in the face, resulting in a flagrant foul 1 and forced forced benching for at least three minutes.
“Para sa akin, ginawa ko lang yung trabaho ko. Kumbaga yung ano ng teammate ko, mahawa sa akin, parang gusto kong gawin yun, kaso na-frustrate ako eh, kaya nagawa ko kay Abueva yun, so bumaba ulit yung kumpiyansa ko,” Gabriel said.
The hit naturally didn’t sit well with 'The Beast,' who confronted Gabriel before cooler heads prevailed.
Gabriel insisted it was nothing personal.
“Wala naman. Frustrated lang ako,” said the 6-foot-6 big man, who finished with four points on 2-of-2 shooting against three fouls and one turnover in less than five minutes of play.
Gabriel, who played just five games in the Philippine Cup, is hoping to make it up the next time he’s given a chance.
“Pag binigyan ako ng pagkakataon, bibigay ko lang yung best ko,” the Colegio de San Lorenzo product said. “Hindi pa rin magbabago siguro 'yun. Depensa lang talaga nag-uumpisa.”