MPBL: Gary David sizzles in return to action for Bataan Risers
BALANGA CITY – Veteran Gary David has taken almost every role for the 1Bataan franchise in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, from spokesperson to a member of the coaching staff, but being on the floor
for the Risers remains as the job he loves most.
So when he took the Bataan People’s Center floor Wednesday night in front of an adoring throng, the 41-year-old, who was playing for the first time in the Chooks-to-Go Lakan Season, only knew one way he could repay the adulation.
“I just wanted to play hard for the fans,” said David, who started the season as the spokesperson of the team as roster spots were already filled up when the team underwent a revamp.
Long the poster boy of basketball in the province, the Dinalupihan-born gunslinger unleashed 11 points in just six minutes in the first half to give the Risers the separation they needed to pull off an 82-76 victory over the Marikina Shoemasters and close out the regular season with a 19-11 record.
David went on to finish with 16 points, showing rookie coach Jonas Villanueva a glimpse of what he’s capable of come playoff time.
The win secured at least the No. 6 position in the North division for 1Bataan, a franchise that went to a turbulent stretch this season when its management was unable to meet its financial commitments to players
Now under Camaya Coast, the Risers moved on from the crisis quickly and emerged a strong contender, after winning 14 of their last 18 games in the regular season.
David was actually set for a comeback last Monday against Cebu in Bacoor, but he was not listed in the lineup before the deadline for the game. It was only fitting that he returned in time for the final home game of the season of the Risers.
“I’ve been working hard for the last two months, trying to get in shape,” said David in Filipino. “I’m ready to do whatever is needed to help the team be successful.”
Earlier, Pampanga Giant Lanterns secured the No. 4 seed in the North division with a 71-62 win over Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, while Cebu Casino Ethyl Alcohol kept its playoff hopes alive in the South division with a 79-70 triumph over Parañaque.
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