GINEBRA board of governors representative Alfrancis Chua wouldn’t want to celebrate his birthday any other way than the Gin Kings winning the PBA Governors’ Cup championship.
It was a memorable night for Chua, who turned 54 on Friday, as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel reclaimed the much-coveted title at the expense of the Meralco Bolts in Game Five of the best-of-seven Finals.
But before the festivities could even start, the outspoken SMC sports director bared to SPIN Life that he thought his special day would be an added pressure for the team.
“Actually ako ang kinakabahan kasi birthday ko, baka ma-pressure ‘yung mga bata na sabihin birthday ko, kailangan manalo,” he said. “Pero I just told them na hindi kailangan ma-pressure, basketball lang ‘yan.”
As soon as he calmed down and gathered his thoughts, it was head coach Tim Cone’s turn to panic.
“Pero si Tim Cone noong nalamang birthday ko, siya ‘yung na-pressure,” shared Chua. “Sabi niya, ‘Oh, it’s your birthday boss. We have to win.’”
But Chua and Cone both know all too well that pressure is all part of the game.
“Noong lumalamang sila [Meralco], tinitignan ko ‘yung mga players, parang masyado silang stiff na kailangan manalo kasi birthday ko,” said Chua. “I just told them na, just play your game, it’s just a normal game. Ito dinedicate nila sa akin, pinaganda pa, pinakaba pa ako.”
The 15,146 fans, mostly rooting for the Gin Kings, filled the 20,000-seater MOA Arena up to the rafters and Chua couldn’t be any happier.