AS bruising Alaska sophomore Calvin Abueva walked out of the floor on six fouls near the end of a lopsided loss, Ginebra team manager Alfrancis Chua attracted attention on the sidelines when he put his hand in his mouth in a 'nganga' gesture, drawing cheers from the pro-Gin Kings crowd.
That's his way, he said, of showing who has the last laugh in this riveting PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal playoff.
“That’s coming from them (Aces fans). Kapag naka-shoot si Abueva, kain daw ibig sabihin. Kinain daw kami,” said the former Ginebra coach at the end of a 108-95 victory over the Aces that enabled the top-seeded Gin Kings to reach the semifinals of the season-opening conference.
“Pinakita ko lang na kain sila (Aces) ngayon sa amin. Ang problema lang, 'yung huling kain at huling subo namin, kami ang pasok, 'yun lang 'yun,” he added without a tinge of remorse.
Chua, however, later defended his action, saying there were other Alaska supporters who have done gestures during the fiercely fought playoff that were far worse.
“Konting ganito or konting ganyan tapos nagpapakita ng pera. Ewan ko kung sinuman yun,” Chua said without mentioning names but obviously referring to Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu, who usually rubs two fingers when referees make a call against the Aces.
That Chua is overcome with pride after the victory was understandable. The pony-tailed executive was the coach of Ginebra when the crowd favorites got swept by the Aces in last year's Commissioner's Cup championship.
“Last season, when I was coaching, marami akong injuries eh. We were not a complete team. My import (Vernon Macklin) was injured, we were dead tired, wala kaming pang match up kay (Sonny) Thoss,” Chua said.
“Ngayon kami naman ang kalabanin niyo with fresh legs at may maayos ang team namin. And the thing is, the team played as one. Everybody was passing the ball,” he added.
Chua even went as far as say that Alaska’s 104-97 win over Ginebra last Wednesday, which dragged the top seeds into Saturday's knockout match, was a "fluke."
“What happened in the first (quarterfinal) game, sinabi ko sa kanila (Gin Kings in practice), is a fluke.”