MANILA, Philippines—"We're gonna have to beat somebody to win a championship."
This was how Magnolia import Romeo Travis responded when asked how it felt to be playing against his former team, the Alaska Aces, in the finals of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup.
Travis played for Alaska in the 2015 edition of the conference, even winning Best Import honors. He powered the Aces to the finals, but they were swept by the rampaging San Miguel Beermen in four games.
Three years later, he will try to win a maiden PBA crown against the Aces, and Travis could not be less bothered by this development.
"I really don't feel anything about it. I'm just happy to be in the finals," the 6-foot-7 American player told reporters during a press conference at Sambokojin restaurant in Eastwood.
"It just happens to be against the team that I played for. I have no hard feelings against the team or any good feelings, you know."
Travis, who averaged 22.7 points and 15 rebounds per game for the Hotshots in the elimination round, wishes nothing but the best for the Aces, noting that he still has friends there.
"But as far as me having some particular feelings one way or the other, that doesn't matter to me," he stressed. "We're gonna have to beat somebody to win a championship, and it just happens to be them."
"I'm happy for these guys, I'm happy for everybody because I know them personally, but other than that, I really don't have any feelings one way or the other," he added.
More than anything, Travis is focused on recovering from a left hamstring strain that he sustained in their semifinal series against Barangay Ginebra.
He had played through pain in Game 4 of the best-of-5 series, torching Ginebra for 50 points to tow the Hotshots to the finals.
With Game 1 of the best-of-7 championship series not until December 5, Travis has plenty of time to return to full fitness.
"Barring a setback, I don't see why I won't be able to play. Every day, I'm feeling a little better. I haven't run since the game, but when I'm walking I'm walking less with a limp. I feel less pain. So barring a setback, I don't see why I wouldn't play," said Travis.
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