MANILA, Philippines – Retired basketball player Rudy Distrito admitted that it pains him to see his former team Barangay Ginebra exit early from the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
Distrito, known as “The Destroyer”during his heydays, said he no longer sees the fight in the current lineup of the fabled PBA team.
"Ibang iba na ang Ginebra ngayon. Parang wala na silang malasakit sa fans. Parang kuntento na sila na may suweldo sila ng kinsenas at katapusan. Hindi ganun ang Ginebra," Distrito told Spin.ph’s Snow Badua.
He said he could feel the frustration of the multitude of Ginebra fans who were disgusted with the way the Gin Kings bowed out of the Commissioner’s Cup after an 84-97 beating at the hands of Talk ‘N Text.
Ginebra finished their campaign in the current tournament in 8th place, despite having several import changes and prized big men in their roster.
“Nagagalit na ako kasi nagagalit na rin ang mga fans. Number one fan ako ng Ginebra kaya kung nagagalit sila, nagagalit rin ako. Wala na ako sa team, pero alam kong kailangan ko nang magsalita, para kahit papano makatulong sa team ko," said Distrito, who was one of the more colorful players of Ginebra.
He is remembered best for the winning shot that completed Ginebra's return from a 1-3 finals deficit against Shell in 1991.
Due to his role as the team's "enforcer," he had run-ins against some players.
In 1995, he was banned from the PBA for a dangerous foul that had him nudging Alaska's Jeffrey Cariaso in mid-air. The hit send Cariaso crashing to the floor.
Years later, he was jailed in the US after being sentenced for manslaughter in 2007. Distrito was released after 4 years due to good behavior.
He is now living quietly in his home town of Bacolod.