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Espinas showcases vintage game as final hurrah begins

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By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Gabby Espinas flashed a glimpse of his college basketball self in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.

The 2004 NCAA Rookie of the Year and MVP, the first player to accomplish the feat in the same year, made 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting with four rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal in barely 22 minutes of play off the bench to help the Beermen depose Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 109-82.


In an interview with some reporters after the game, Espinas said that the impressive game was needed.

"Kailangan naming maging aggressive kung gusto naming makuha yung dream namin na mauwi yung trophy. Sayang kung hindi namin makukuha. Ito na yung pagkakataon, hindi na kami mga bata, marami na kaming may edad sa team namin," said the 35-year-old forward, who spent time playing with seven teams before making a return to the Beermen camp that drafted him sixth overall in the 2006 draft.

The 2009 all-star also sees this huge performance as something he can teach to the younger SMB players like Arnold Van Opstal and Keith Agovida.

"Lagi naman ako ready palagi. Kasi nga, isa na ako sa mga beterano sa team. Kailangan lagi ka nag-step up kasi nakakahiya naman kung ikaw pa magkakalat sa loob," Espinas continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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