Gab Banal felt ecstatic after Nueva Ecija escaped with a razor-thin 20-19 win over Butuan City to advance to the Million Peso Game of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup.
Overjoyed, the 30-year-old winger celebrated like one of his childhood heroes — WWE superstar Triple H.
He reenacted a Triple H’s patented crotch chop on the sidelines. But there was one problem — Karl Dehesa was in front of him.
“Just to share the story, I did a D-Generation X celebration. I don’t know why he took that literally.”
Offended, Dehesa waited for Banal backstage. Once Banal did, Dehesa asked, “What did you say again?”
Still amped, Banal replied, “Two words: Suck it!”
“He literally asked me if I wanted him to suck me. I said, ‘Of course not! It’s just an expression.’ With respect to the LGBT community but I’m not gay. I don’t know if it was a trick question,” wondered the no. nine-ranked 3×3 player in the country, who also clarified that the words “S*** my ****” never came out of his mouth during or after the game.
All hell broke loose afterward. Both Dehesa and Chris De Chavez tried to confront both Banal and Tonino Gonzaga.
And it irked Chavez that Banal said, “You wouldn’t be like that if you won.”
“I don’t get why he said that we don’t deserve to be there. We beat them fair and square,” wondered Banal.
Fortunately, players from Palayan City and Zamboanga City, together with league officials and security, were able to separate the two camps.
Up to this day, Banal still feels surprised by what transpired.
“I mean, what happened in the court stays in the court. We are professionals. That is why I was surprised by what Karl did because tapos na nga ‘yung game,” he said.
For his part, Banal admitted that he might have gone overboard with his celebration. But who wouldn’t be when you have a chance to win P1,000,000 tax-free?
“I’d probably say that I should have been a better sportsman.
“Pero ang saya ko eh. It was a very physical and close game. I was just happy. I’m a 90s kid and that’s what we grew up with, DX. Probably he wasn’t watching wrestling,” quipped Banal.