JUSTIN Chua, one of three outgoing senior players in the victorious Ateneo Blue Eagles squad, had mixed emotions following the title-clinching Game Two win on Thursday night.
In two weeks' time, the 6-5 Chua, who has won five UAAP titles in his five years with Ateneo, will be playing alongside some of the University of Santo Tomas players that he and the Eagles beat via two-game sweep in the best-of-three finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Unable to find a spot with a multi-titled NLEX team bannered by Ateneo teammates Kiefer Ravena, Nico Salva, and Greg Slaughter, Chua has been tapped instead by Blackwater in the PBA D-League.
“Very happy kasi champion uli! Pero di ako sinama sa NLEX. Tapos kinausap na ako ng Blackwater so I’ll be playing with some of them,” Chua told Spin.ph, pointing to the Growling Tigers bench, moments after the Blue Eagles' 65-62 win.
NLEX will be gunning for a fourth straight D-League title when the league opens on October 23. Blackwater, a semifinalist in the last D-League tournament, hopes to achieve a major breakthrough in the coming season under coach Leo Isaac.
Among the UST Tigers who will join Chua at Blackwater are slotman Karim Abdul, guard Jeric Fortuna, forwards Clark Bautista, Jeric Teng, and Kevin Ferrer, and Louie Vigil.