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Nard Pinto’s gamble pays off: ‘Sobrang worth it’

Nards Pinto sure knows how to bet on himself.

On Friday night, he took home the jackpot.

The seasoned playmaker finally won his first-ever PBA championship as Ginebra asserted its mastery of Meralco yet again to rule the 2021-22 Governors’ Cup right before a mammoth crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Sobrang saya, siyempre. Walang salita akong masasabi sa sobrang saya ko. Sobrang saya talaga,” the 31-year-old expressed after the Kings’ dugout celebration following their 103-92 Game 6 conquest of the Bolts.

Pinto made his presence felt in the triumph with five points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal in over 23 minutes off the bench. And he made the most out of the opportunity he received in an aim to gain a chip.

The Arellano product had never hidden his desire to win a ring, especially after failing to do so in his first Finals rodeo with Meralco in 2019 as they bowed to Ginebra in five games in the Governors’ Cup as well.

He and the Orangemen had a shot at the Philippine Cup title in 2020, but the Kings spoiled their plans again. They were literally seconds away from a possible Finals trip, only for Scottie Thompson to boot them out.

On Friday night, he finally experienced how it’s like being on the winning side, indeed a vindication of his decision to leave the MVP ball club and join the Barangay as an unrestricted free agent just last February.

2021-22-PBA-Governors-Cup-Finals-Ginebra-Nard-Pinto Nard Pinto's gamble pays off: 'Sobrang worth it' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“Siyempre, worth it talaga,” said Pinto.

“Sobrang worth it.”

Still, he couldn’t help but feel for his former team. After all, he spent about three years with Meralco, and it was with the franchise where his stock rose higher as he became a key part of coach Norman Black’s guard rotation.

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“Siyempre medyo may lungkot din kahot papano – yun nga sinasabi ko, ‘di ba, nakita mo naman sobrang close ko yung mga yun,” said Pinto, whom Phoenix traded to Meralco prior to the 2019 season.

“Ganun talaga basketball.”

But then again, he finally is a PBA champion. And what made it even more satisfying was the trek he and Ginebra had to make – from a harrowing losing skid to clinching the no. 6 seed, then sweeping all MVP teams for the crown.

“Tsaka ang ganda ng ano ngayon e ‘di ba? Galing kami sa sixtth place, ginapang namin papunta rito, nag-champion kami. Sobrang sarap pala ng ganun e. Yung hindi yung galing ka sa no. 1 tas nag-champion,” he offered.

“Eto kasi sobrang hirap e, yung parang umakyat kami ng bundok e. Yun nga sabi ni Coach Tim (Cone) nung quarterfinals, parang aakyat kami ng bundok e. Naabot namin ‘yung tuktok.”

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The Finals are also livestreamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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