David makes unplanned debut for SMB, eyes 1st PBA title
Gary David feared his career could be over after Meralco relegated him to the team’s unrestricted free agent slot. Thinking that at 37, it would be hard for him to crack any roster spot in the PBA.
“Nag-set na ako sa mind ko na baka tapos na yung career ko. Para kung sakaling walang kumuha sa akin na team, hindi ako masyadong madi-disappoint,” he said.
Fortunately for him, he got more than what he asked for as he landed with a powerhouse team in San Miguel.
“Nung tumawag ang SMB, talagang ginanahan ako dahil San Miguel yan eh. Every player pinapangarap makalaro sa San Miguel group, lalo na sa San Miguel, kaya talagang napakasaya ko,” he said.
The 6-foot-2 guard understands he may not get much playing time given that the Beermen are loaded with players holding the same position as him. But being a veteran and knowing the situation that he’s in, David is more than willing to adjust.
“Expected ko naman na hindi ako masyadong makakapaglaro. Thankful lang ako kay coach Leo (Austria) na binigay nya sa akin itong opportunity,” said the Bataan native.
David wasn’t supposed to make his debut on Sunday against Phoenix. It wasn’t part of head coach Leo Austria’s plans, but that was before the fans started chanting David’s name similar to that Gilas Pilipinas game in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship.
And to the cheering fans’ delight, Austria inserted David in the final 1:45 with the Beermen comfortably ahead, 115-102.
David wasted little time as he immediately scored his first points wearing the traditional red and black colors of the Beermen on a baseline reverse.
“Hindi pa nya alam yung sistema namin and he has to learn a lot of things,” he said. “We’re winning because of our system and the players know what to do. It’s obvious na nangangapa pa si Gary. It was a very emotional experience for him but the good thing with Gary is pwede namin siya i-replace for Marcio on off-nights, and at the same time, pwede silang magsabay.”
David just wants to make the most out of the opportunity he’s given.
“Basta ang sabi ko lang kung gagamitin ako, ready lang dahil kahapon lang ako nakasama sa scrimmage. At least, pagpasok ko, naka-contribute ako kaagad,” he said.
David has yet to win a title in 12 seasons in the league and being part of San Miguel, which has won three championships in the previous four conferences, puts him closer to reach his ultimate goal.
“Ito na yung chance ko sa dream na makapag-champion sa PBA bago man lang mag-retiro,” said David. “Siguro ito na talaga. Gagawin ko ang lahat. Nakita mo naman yung players sa team na ito, very talented, kaya kung ano man yung ibibigay sa aking role para maka-contribute at makatulong sa kanila, yun ang gagawin ko.”
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