FROM all the teams he has played for in a long PBA career, Willie Miller admitted he has kept a deep bond with his former teammates at Barangay Ginebra.
The jolly veteran said he is still in constant touch with Ginebra players four years after he was unceremoniously traded by the team to Barako Bull, regularly sending wacky - and at times inspirational - messages to textmates LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.
“Textmates pa rin kami ng mga 'yun. Lagi kaming nag-aasaran, lagi ko sila pinapadalhan ng jokes at pangungulit,” said Miller shortly after playing a supporting role in Talk 'N text’s nail-biting 104-103 win over Ginebra.
The pride of Olongapo City bared how Caguioa approached him before their game on Sunday to welcome him back in the pro league.
“Nilapitan ako ni Mark, tapos sinabihan niya ko ng, ‘Welcome back, kosa.' Kaya sinagot ko ng, ‘Wala nang welcome, back ache na lang.' Natawa eh,” he said in between laughs.
Miller, however, bared he stopped himself from texting his former Ginebra teammates prior to Sunday's game, just so he can fully focus on his role with the Texters.
“Ay, hindi ako nag-text kanina. Nag-focus ako ng todo. Kasi gusto ko silang talunin,” he said.
And now that he won his first match-up against Ginebra in a Talk 'N Text uniform, the outspoken former two-time MVP bared his former teammates are bound to get some good-natured ribbing from him.
“Magpapadala ako ng messages sa kanila mamaya. Aasarin ko, sasabihin ko, ‘Mga brad, eng-ka (kinain) namin kayo,'" Miller said. "Malamang mag-reply rin ng mga nakakatawa mga yun.”
As for his career, Miller is confident he has a shot at his fourth career championship and his first with Talk 'N Text, where he also played from 2004 to 2006.
“Sana makasungkit pa ng isa, para quota na. Pero sa ngayon, focus muna ako sa role ko sa team. Masaya ako rito kasi maganda ang samahan at chemistry ng players,” he said.
“Nakakatuwa nga kalaban Ginebra ang dami nilang fans. Ganyan masarap talunin na team. Pero natutuwa ako kasi simula nung galing ako sa kanila, kahit saan ako malipat, ramdam ko suporta nila sa akin.”