Pain to blame for merciless MiamiBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(WARRIOR CALL: The University of the East Red Warriors men’s basketball coaching staff and players will pay tribute to the legendary former national team coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan on July 3 at the UE main lobby. The tribute coincides with the UE Warriors’ first homecoming. Warrior greats like Robert Jaworski, James Yap, Pilo Pumaren, Jimmy Manansala, Allan Caidic, Jerry Codiñera and Bong Ravena have confirmed attendance. For inquiries, call UE Marketing department at 735-8562 or 735-8557.)
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LIGHTS went out for the Oklahoma City Thunder as early as the end of the first half—no fire, no roar; only a damp, sick sputter.
This was in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals whose Game 1 OKC took with a courageous cry that set the championship playoff on fire.
After the initial loss, Miami next stole home and took Game 2.
But there was no hint whatsoever at that even (1-1) point the title-hungry Heat would torch it all the way to the most tyrannical title triumph in NBA annals.
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After striking back, Miami took two more cliffhangers and stepped gingerly a game within the crown.
But even winning Filipino-American coach Erik Spoesltra obviously had no inkling how the crown would be won.
Out at the Mandaluyong City wet market, where the 2012 NBA Finals was the hottest commodity, somebody spoke a phrase yesterday to redefine the amazement over the devastating triumph scored by Miami.
“Child abuse,” mumbled the smiling, long-haired Ricky Canapi, goat-meat vendor who said they tried but failed to wager on Miami in the last and deciding match of the season last week.
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But didn’t prodigious Oklahoma, called immature and inexperienced last year, more than acquit itself with its spell-binding romp over Dallas, the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio, in lording it over in the West en route to the dream Finals showdown?
The shy, pimpled goat-meat seller smiled and explained the reason there was also a hot bet on Oklahoma was because of the team’s humble composure.
Miami, he said, just loomed loud, boisterous compared to the young, hardworking Thunder.
In short: Sentimentality favored Oklahoma, but hard-earned money stayed with Miami.
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Truth is that countless fans all over the country had also been won over by the charm, talent and quiet dignity of the Thunder, as typified by the strong and very talented Kevin Durant.
King LeBron James, on the other hand, personified Miami’s merciless might.
Of course, what turned out as the chief moving factor behind Miami’s devastating explosiveness had nothing to do with courtesy and compassion.
“It’s the shame, the pain we suffered in losing the title last year,” said Dwyane Wade.
He was an anomaly in Game 1, but soared back soon enough to make sure they won’t be caught in yet another darkest-night-of-the-year ending.
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Explained Miami cultist Cesar Ruiz Aquino, poet laureate of Dumaguete: “I’ve never felt this sympathetic with Oklahoma. Thunder is my team in the West.”
It bothered Dr. Aquino a lot that curtains fell on the 2012 NBA with the camera frozen on a terribly tragic scene.
The picture was that of the humbled, grieving Thunder team freshly rescued from total annihilation, after Miami shortened the disgrace and misery in an all-consuming explosive stand.
Problem: There may be no stopping the Thunder from roaring onto another dangerous duel against Miami which, last seen, was visibly set for a dynastic stand.
More from this Column:
- Who is to prevent a Game 7?
- Can Miami go home again?
- LeBron dominates by scoring less
- Will they try to use another NBA script?
- Great expectations in boxing, the NBA