MAC BARACAEL hit three free throws with three-tenths of a second left last night and lifted Barangay Ginebra to a 101-100 victory over Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup, a win which the Elasto Painters immediately put under protest.
Baracael drew a challenge from Beau Belga while attempting a three-pointer. The shot missed, but referee Nol Quilinguen whistled Belga for the foul, setting up the three free throws that saw the Gin Kings pull out a victory from the jaws of defeat at Smart Araneta Coliseum to rise to 3-4 overall.
Rain or Shine team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que went to the press room immediately after the game and informed PBA official Willie Marcial that they were putting the game under protest “on the grounds that the referee decided the outcome of the game.”
“It was very unfair, parang sindikato na ito,” Yu told Marcial.
The loss was the fourth in eight games for the Painters, who dropped to the lower half of the standings and—should the playoffs start today—would need to beat a higher-ranked team twice to advance to the Final Four.
“For whatever it’s worth, we feel we were robbed of a win, it was an obvious no foul,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said. “We felt that Quilinguen does not deserve to officiate in this league. He decided the ball game.”
“We were lucky the referee called a foul,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.
Meanwhile, with its foremost offensive gun firing blanks all night, San Mig Coffee turned to defense and won a game of spurts against Barako Bull, 81-77, in the curtain raiser.
The Mixers held the Energy scoreless in the final 1:52 to erase a four-point deficit and stretch its winning run to four in a 5-3 card.
Mark Barroca drilled four crucial points inside the final 45.2, and Allein Maliksi canned the insurance free throws with 5.5 ticks left after a crucial Mike Singletary turnover.
With the Energy having a chance to tie it up at 77, Singletary—without any pressure—dribbled off his left foot while trying to shake off Marcus Blakely, resulting in those insurance Maliksi free throws and a second straight loss for the Energy, who dropped to 4-4.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text, tied for ninth spot with Air21 at 2-4 and in grave danger of missing the playoffs, breaks in a new import in former North Carolina State standout Courtney Fells against Rain or Shine on Wednesday.
Fells, who has had a long career in Europe, takes over the Tony Mitchell and hopes to turn things around and help snap a three-game losing streak for the Tropang Texters.
SAN MIG COFFEE 81—Blakely 22, Maliksi 18, Barroca 12, Devance 8, Simon 8, Mallari 5, Pingris 5, Yap 3, Reavis 0.
BARAKO BULL 77—Singletary 38, Macapagal 16, Pennisi 6, Marcelo 5, Seigle 5, Cruz 3, Jensen 2, Villanueva 2, Monfort 0, Buenafe 0, Intal 0.
Quarters: 17-20, 39-31, 61-58, 81-77
BRGY. GINEBRA 101—Caguioa 32, Lowhorn 31, Ellis 11, Baracael 8, Tenorio 8, Maierhofer 6, Helterbrand 3, Mamaril 2, Urbiztondo 0, Wilson 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 100—Reid 40, Quinahan 12, Lee 11, Belga 10, Arana 8, Chan 5, Uyloan 4, Norwood 4, Cruz 2, Matias 2, Tang 2, Rodriguez 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarters: 21-26, 47-49, 70-79, 101-100