TROY Rike was on the receiving end of some nasty blows in the course of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, but there was nothing quite like the exchange he had against Mac Cardona in the semifinals on Sunday.
Rike was trying to set a screen when he was sent crashing to the floor by a hard bump from ex-pro Cardona, who later unleashed an earful hurling expletives that further heightened the tensions in the already-heated affair.
"It was a very common Filipino phrase that was tossed. It was the first Filipino phrase I learned," shared Rike when asked what about Cardona's rant.
The former Gilas cadet then picked himself up and helped Pasig Grindhouse take the 19-18 semis win over San Juan.
Not even Chito Jaime's physical play on Rike in the championship, on top of a handful exchanges between the Kings and rival 1Bataan Risers, could stop Pasig Grindhouse from securing the 19-7 conquest in the Grand Finals.
For Rike, all the knocks - both verbal and physical - mean little, so long as his side comes out on top.
"You can say a lot of things since I played in the Philippines, but one thing you can never say is that I'm not willing to do anything to help my team win. So any bumps, bruises that I get, it doesn't affect me. I'll do whatever I can to help the team win," he said.
Rike also shrugged off his brushes with Cardona and Jaime, saying that as far as he sees it, all is fair in love and war.
"I don't have any ill will toward them. I think they're just trying to win the game," he said. "There's very few people who I have something personal. I'm just trying to play, we're all trying to win. No hard feelings."