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11:40 PM April 1st, 2012

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By: Manolo R. Iñigo, April 1st, 2012 11:40 PM

BARAKO Bull’s Mick Pennisi has been tagged by both foreign websites and social networking sites as overreacting, a sort of modern-day version of Philippine basketball bad boy.

According to blogger Kelly Dwyer, “Mick Pennisi…dove as if he was under cannon fire following a shot to the head from Will McDonald,” adding that the referee was right to send McDonald out of the playing court but likewise Pennisi, who should be banned from playing for the next 10 to 12 years.

On the other hand, Lost Letterman commented, “If you thought flopping in the NBA was bad, check how atrocious it is in the Philippines.”

Letterman said: “We don’t even want to know what Filipino soccer players do to get calls.”

While another basketball blog from CBS Sports, Eye on Basketball, considered it as “arguably the greatest flop in basketball history. The ball-to-head slam is great, the delayed reaction is priceless, and Pennisi’s sheer audacity sends the hilarity to the moon.”

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Pennisi scored 11 big points in leading Barako Bull to a 94-80 victory over the Petron Blaze Boosters. Pennisi is also the eighth player in PBA history to make 700 three pointers in his career.

McDonald was disqualified for committing a flagrant foul on Pennisi, comparing him to Chicago Bulls center Omar Asik who was called as “basketball’s best/worst flopper on the Internet.”

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PBA commissioner Chito Salud, son of the late popular lawyer and much respected former league commissioner Rudy Salud, is fast following the footsteps of his beloved father.

In the early years of the pro league, imports were the most dominant dribblers.

The league enjoyed unprecedented popularity because of the presence of quality imports like Billy Ray Bates and Cyrus Mann of Crispa; Byron “Snake” Jones of Toyota; multiawarded Norman Black, who has settled here; Shell’s Bobby Parks, another longtime Philippine resident; Michael Hackett; and Pop Cola’s Tony Harris, who scored a single-game record of 105 points which has remained unbroken in the PBA’s storied history.

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Asia’s first professional cage loop, launched in 1975, thrived under soft-spoken commissioner Leo Prieto, Rudy Salud, Jun Bernardino and Sonny Barrios.

The PBA has survived nine Olympics and an equal number of Asian Games, including six Philippine Presidents (Ferdinand Marcos, Cory Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Cory’s son, Noynoy Aquino).

Several nagging problems stay such as dwindling gate receipts, lack of a permanent venue and complaints against biased officiating.

Still, the PBA was able to overcome these problems and is well on the road to recovery.

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