PBA: It’s on with the sweet savageryBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(COURAGEOUS CALL: It was the lifetime motto of newspaperman Nixon Kua to stare truth in the eye—and report everything without fear or favor. It was also his lifetime vow to fight criminality. Kua was being truthful to his calling when he was gunned down by robbers in Calamba over the weekend. He has been sacrificed. It would be a big disservice to this committed gentleman if authorities, led by President Aquino, continue to play blind to the rapacious rise of criminality in the country. Sir Nixon’s death should serve as a screaming call for police authorities to take honest action, or do they have the courage of the man?)
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THAT was not an entirely new dish served in the opener of the PBA Governors Cup Finals on Sunday.
But it must’ve tasted especially good.
If to a steak, it was virile, far from tender.
But there’s no denying PBA commissioner Chito Salud has found it to his liking.
He has, in fact, bluntly ordered a second serving.
It was hard to determine how the referees, acting as chefs, could do a reprise.
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For one, the dish did not sit well with all those involved.
There was, for example, B-Meg coach Tim Cone who had obviously suffered indigestion.
He protested vehemently, hurling a chair in frustration, thereby damaging the glossy, expensive playing floor at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cone was slapped a hefty fine by the Commissioner, and also assessed for damages by venue managers.
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It was indeed quite smart of coach Yeng Guiao for having snapped back at Cone for his critical reaction.
Guiao said it was unfair of Cone to have asked the help of referees, while hinting things could go out of hand in Game 2 (scheduled last night.)
Guiao would next be upheld by Commissioner Salud, who insisted everything was above board as far as officiating was concerned.
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Of course, fans, including Rain or Shine diehards, were not unanimously happy at the Sunday outcome.
Budda Daiz, a hardworking jeepney driver, said he made the right decision by staying away from the game together with his eldest son CJ, a talented young cager and avid student of the game.
“Kung ganuong laro makikita ng mga bata, buti nga huwag na lang (It’s better to stay away if that’s the kind of dirty game kids would be exposed to),” he told the Inquirer on Monday.
He said the winning side could have used a little subtlety in going all out for a win.
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But we have to give it to commissioner Salud who insisted the rough, rugged match did not border on savagery.
In deference to the commissioner, this reporter hereby rephrases the title of his last column to sweet savagery.
Coach Cone has also apologized for his explosive reaction.
In fairness go Guiao, he’s both sharp and talented his players could’ve won hands down with more fluidity.
But, as demonstrated in Game 1, toughness is the name of the game.
In fact, there should be an even bigger attendance last night, thanks to the promise of a more dramatic encounter.
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This could also mean the referees, given the authority by the league commissioner, should have more than their share of hot, fiery ingredients.
Unfortunately, there was also the risk of the steak ending up overdone.
How? OK, this need not be retold. But when one beleaguered team (was it Shell?) demanded tighter control from the referees during a championship series in the ’90s, the great Rudy Salud, late father of the current PBA commissioner, humbly acceded. He ordered the referees to next render a softer conduct of the game, like shifting from rock to a waltz number.
The requesting squad, naturally, had its moment on the floor. This team was clearly on its way to a title win when a monumental walkout, led by living legend Robert Jaworski, import Sylvester Gray and manager Bernabe Navarro, was staged in the second half.
That event also rocked the league to its foundation.
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- It’s a no-contest tune-up for Manny Pacquiao
- PBA has a big problem, no thanks to Ginebra
- An urgent pitch for Koko
- Pardon the extortion, please