Walker, Pinto continue to push each other to be better
Things won’t always be peachy between two competitive players like Blackwater import Henry Walker and star point guard Nard Pinto.
The two would push each other to the limit that tempers sometime flare between them, and that was in full display Wednesday when the Elite battled San Miguel in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Walker and Pinto got into each other’s faces late in the first quarter when Beermen point guard Alex Cabagnot dove for a loose ball in front of Pinto, prompting Walker to yell at him.
Both Walker and Pinto, though, downplayed the incident saying the game’s intensity just caught up with them.
“I’m on Nards everyday because I can see the type of player he can be and that’s is, I don’t want him to come out there and do a disservice to himself and not be at his best,” said Walker after the Elite’s 103-100 win over the Beermen.
Blackwater is on a surprising 2-0 start after beating the Beermen for the second time this conference following their 106-96 win in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
Pinto was given the Player of the Game nod after he put up 15 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists while Walker finished with 35 points, 17 rebounds, and seven steals.
“When he’s out there and he’s playing, he’s attacking, he’s aggressive, it’s a whole different team. He got a big game, 15, nine, and seven and in order for us to be successful he’s got to be heading the attack,” said Walker.
Pinto, meanwhile, sees Walker’s aggressive attitude towards him as the 30-year-old import’s way of showing some tough love.
“Henry just wanted to win and even in practice he’s like that,” said Pinto in Filipino. “I too was carried away with my emotion but after we both apologized to each other and everything was forgiven.”
Walker, who is treated as the team’s older brother, said he wants nothing but the best for his teammates and he will do whatever it takes for them to succeed and part of that is giving some tough love here and there.
“I told him ‘bro, I just want you to be at your best, you’re playing against one of the best point guards on the PBA and he can’t get on the floor and you not get on the floor. He’s a champion,’” said Walker. “He’s [Pinto] got to bring it everyday and I don’t expect anything less than that and I’m going to be on him like he would on me the same way.”