Gary David accepts smaller role at SMB for PBA title shot

While San Miguel Beer players erupted in jubilation after prevailing in their quarterfinal knockout match against Star on Wednesday, no one was happier than veteran sniper Gary David because his chance to win a 1st-ever PBA title as a pro is very much alive.

Known by the moniker “El Granada”, David has great respect for his new teammates.

“Maganda ang samahan. Makikita mo dito na yung mga Fil-Ams at Pilipino relationship, nagrerespetuhan. Talented na tapos sa samahan pa ng players okay,” David told FOX Sports, who had a brief 4-minute stint in the Beermen’s 103-99 come-from-behind win over the Hotshots.

David is still in search of a PBA championship after 2 failed Finals stints with the now defunct teams Air21 and Powerade

But at San Miguel, the 6-foot-1 David isn’t demanding for playing time, aware of the pecking order and more so, the leadership role that he can bring to the team’s young core.

In fact, the former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart said he tries to give pointers to SMB’s sweet-shooting Marcio Lassiter, every time the latter experiences what he calls a “down game”.

“Siyempre di mo naman puwede ipilit yung sarili mo at maghanap ng playing time or mag score so basta ako, makatulong lang sa little things or as veteran, payuhan ko yung mga bata tulad nila Marcio na nakikinig naman sa akin,” explained the 37-year-old David.

“Kapag may down game siya, pinapayuhan ko lang siya. So yun yung mga little things lang na iko-contribute ko para makuha yung championship,” he added.

The road to the SMB franchise’s 2nd straight title however, will have to pass through Rain or Shine, a team the Beermen have beaten in the post-season the last 2 conferences.

David said barring any injury, San Miguel will be a force to reckon with as the Beermen try to keep the franchise’s 2nd Grand Slam hopes alive.

“Basta mag-stay healthy lang ang mga players, yun ang mahalaga,” said the 4-time PBA scoring champion.

“Kami naman nandito lang sumusuporta at ako, basta ready lang kapag nahugot. Eh ngayon, di mo kailangan i-force ang sarili mo, kasi dito talented ang bawat isang player,” he said.

David came to the Beermen just 2 weeks ago as a free-agent pick-up.

The former Lyceum Pirates was placed in the unrestricted free agency last month by the Meralco Bolts after a controversial falling out. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava