JOHNNY Abarrientos keeps his word.
After San Mig Coffee completed a grand slam, the former PBA MVP made good on his promise and treated the entire Far Eastern University Tamaraws team to a buffet lunch on Thursday.
“I promised to treat them sa Vikings (buffet restaurant) if we won the grand slam,” said Abarrientos, a former FEU Tamaraw star who sits as one of the assistants of head coach Nash Racela.
“Share the blessings,” he added.
The date also happened to fall on the 44th birthday of Abarrientos, who is one of Tim Cone's assistants in the San Mig team that completed just the fifth grand slam season in PBA history.
That's the reason the 'Flying A' ended up treating close to 50 people to lunch at Vikings, some of them his family and friends but majority still from FEU's team in the UAAP.
In fact, the players, who usually hold daily practice sessions in the afternoon, requested that Thursday's practice be moved to the 8-10 slot in the morning.
"Para mas gutom," said a team member, smiling.
Abarrientos said he didn’t mind giving the Tamaraws players an incentive. Aside from the chance to bond as a team, it is also his way of thanking the players for their support, he said.
“It’s a way of building chemistry sa mga ganitong okasyon,” said Abarrientos, who won two successive UAAP championship with the Tamaraws in the 1991 and 1992 and his first PBA grand slam with Alaska in 1996.
The Tamaraws also have a reason to celebrate after opening the season with an 82-77 win over defending champion De La Salle on Saturday.
“Pinag-pray ka rin nila. No reason para tipirin natin sila. Besides, hindi naging madali ang panalo. In return, bigyan din natin sila ng kasiyahan,” said Abarrientos.