PBA: Nard Pinto revels in first-ever title after just few months with Ginebra

Nard Pinto by Ginebra.  PBA . IMAGES

Nard Pinto by Ginebra. PBA . IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines — Nard Pinto went from a PBA title hunter to a winner Friday night after Barangay Ginebra beat his former team Meralco and repeat as Governors Cup champion.

The tough keeper rejoiced at his first championship, but couldn’t help but feel sorry for his old teammates.

“Of course I’m overjoyed, I’m speechless,” he told reporters. 103-92 Game 6 wins inside the crowded Mall of Asia Arena.

“But there is also a bit of sadness. As I’ve always said, I’m close (with the players at Meralco). But that’s basketball. Now I’m here with Ginebra. I’m just happy and feeling lucky that I was able to be a champion here at Ginebra. “

Pinto was part of the Meralco team that fought Ginebra in Championship series returns in 2019, The final version of the league ended the season before the pandemic hit. The Bolts lost that duel in five games.

Then he chose join Gin Kings after entering free agency in January of this year, ending nearly three years playing for Norman Black and the Bolts.

Pinto has been a two-way street for crowd lovers in this tournament. His best performance in the title series was 10 points, four recoveries and three assists in Game 2.

He finished with five points, seven pounds, four assists and a steal in the clincher.

“Very good times. Remember, we’re the sixth seed and we’ve come this far, to be champions,” he said. “It’s not like getting the first seed and then being the champion.

“This is difficult, like scaling a mountain,” he added.

It may be recalled that while the series was kicking off, San Miguel Corp. athletic director Al Francis teased Pinto’s move to Ginebra, saying he would move the guard back to Meralco if the Gin Kings screwed up. defend their title.

Pinto then laughed. He’s still on Friday night.

“He said he wouldn’t drive me home tonight. You heard that right? ‘ he said of Ginebra’s group governor.

“He’s said it many times,” he added with a chuckle.

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