WHEN the smoke of battle cleared, it was all about brotherhood for both San Mig and Petron players.
Just hours after a fiercely fought Game Seven of the Governors Cup Finals, players, coaches, officials and staff of the two San Miguel Corp-owned teams broke bread together on Friday night.
Petron and San Mig players and their families all dined in the same restaurant, The Heat in Edsa Shangri-La, in what officials say was a display of sportsmanship and brotherhood for the two sister teams.
“In the spirit of sportsmanship, we decided to have both teams attend the dinner. The battle is over and the smoke is cleared, so we already put aside our differences on the court,” said San Mig governor Rene Pardo.
“We want to show everybody that the true spirit of sportsmanship exists among us. Also so the people can see what true sportsmanship is all about,” he added.
San Miguel basketball operations head Robert Non said the dinner was a tribute to all their players.
“Pinagsama na namin sa kainan. Sports lang naman ito. After the game, magkakaibigan pa rin sila,” said the current league chairman.
Non said the practice was first introduced by SMC big boss Ramon S. Ang during the 2012 Asean Basketball League after their team lost to the Indonesia Warriors in the finals.
“Nung matalo kami last year sa Indonesia Warriors, kami pa nag-host ng dinner. Pinagsama rin namin noon ang San Miguel at Indonesian players. That’s what we call sportsmanship,” said Non.
One Petron player admitted that he wasn’t entirely sold on the idea at first until he realized what management was trying to accomplish.
“Nuong una ayoko nang pumunta. Parang ayokong magpakita, kasi masakit yung talo tapos makakasama ko pa sila kumain. Nung natapos … naisip ko. 'Tama nga. Sports lang ang lahat hindi dapat dibdibin ang talo,'” said the player, who requested anonymity.