MANILA, Philippines—Despite Ginebra’s close loss to Magnolia on Sunday, new Gin King Maverick Ahanmisi still enjoyed his first taste of “Manila Clasico.”
Finishing with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, Ahanmisi flourished playing in one of Philippine basketball’s biggest rivalries.
Of course, he would have loved it even more had the Gin Kings won.
“It was fun. I haven’t experienced nothing else like this in PBA basketball so I’m glad I could be part of this. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with the W,” said Ahanmisi after Ginebra blew a 26-point lead in a 93-91 loss to Magnolia.
“Obviously, you want to make every shot you take but it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. We were up 25 and that was completely on us. We didn’t defend well in the second half. They started attacking our pick-and-roll’s and we just collapsed.”
The game went down the wire in the dying seconds of the game with questionable calls on both ends.
But Ahanmisi isn’t making any excuses for the loss that put Ginebra at 1-1.
“We could go on and on about officiating or whatever but we lost that game. We had a good enough cushion and we didn’t focus.”
Maverick wasn’t the only Ahanmisi in the latest episode of the Manila Clasico, though.
His brother, Jerick, was on the other end of the court playing for undefeated Magnolia.
Though he may have lost against his younger brother, he’s still glad to see him be a new part of the Clasico rivalry.
“[I’m] glad he played well as well and it’s been fun… We don’t really have too much conversations about playing against each other but it’s always competitive,” said Maverick.
The younger Ahanmisi didn’t really match up with his brother’s stellar stat line but he still chipped in five points to go with a rebound and a steal.
During Ahanmisi’s post-game talk with the press, Jerick walked behind reporters and gave his older brother a peace sign.
Though, that’s probably just the start of the banter.
“He’s obviously going to let me hear about it when we get home.”