VINCE Hizon turned back the hands of time on Sunday during the ‘Return of the Rivals’ exhibition game between Ginebra San Miguel and Purefoods.
Hizon scored 16 of his 19 points in the third quarter, when the Gin Kings legends pulled away for good on the way to a 97-89 victory over old rivals from Purefoods before close to 17,000 fans at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Hizon shot 6-of-14 from the field and connected on four three-pointers to give the Ginebra old-timers the win, making the soreness he expects the next day all worth it.
“Lot of pain, I’m telling you right now, in the fourth quarter. I had a lot of fun,” said the 48-year-old Hizon.
More than his shooting display, Hizon said he was glad to share the court once again with his contemporaries despite some physical plays on the court.
“We played a lot of legends games but they are not like this,” Hizon said. “This is a lot more competitive. Elbows, knee, and all kinds of stuff. It’s part of the game. We like it rugged. It was a lot of fun just seeing the guys flourish, seeing the old moves, it still works after a long time.”
On his vintage shooting show, Hizon said: “By God’s grace, the ball was dropping and I just kept shooting.”
Before playing for Ginebra from 1995 to 1998, Hizon was actually drafted by Purefoods at eighth overall in the 1994 PBA rookie draft after playing college ball with Ateneo.
“Purefoods is a great franchise. They have such a storied career. They’ve won a lot. When you think of Purefoods, you think of Alvin (Patrimonio) and Jerry (Codinera). It was just an honor to be on the same court," he said.
"It’s like going back in time. It seemed like yesterday I was getting drafted in Roxas Blvd. in 1994 and the one who put my hat on was Jerry Codinera. Just to be on the same court is just an honor. It’s fun."