ROS cager’s ‘escape’ actBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
If you were at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last Saturday night, you probably wondered what that commotion by the dugout was all about after the Alaska-Rain or Shine game.
Live and direct from the scene of the action that night, I got a text report sent by a young colleague. He said their attention was caught when a middle-aged woman in dark glasses appeared with a couple of uniformed policemen looking for cager Ronnie Matias of Rain or Shine.
Escorted by Araneta security , the lawmen were out to arrest Matias purportedly for a petty crime he committed many years ago while he was still playing in the PBL.
“Apparently, this same woman had accused Matias of stealing something valuable from her about seven years ago when they used to hang out together. Matias had strongly denied this, claiming that he was just being framed up, but the woman had strong connections with the military, and she was able to get him arrested and locked in jail. He was later released on bail,” related my colleague.
Now what I could not understand is why the woman had waited so long to get back at Ronnie? Is money the motive? After all, he’s now in the PBA and earning more than what he did in the PBL. I decided to conduct my own investigation.
From what I gathered but could not confirm, this unknown woman no one can seem to identify had filed a case against Matias.
According to unofficial reports, the hearings—which were hardly attended by the cager—dragged on for years and years without being resolved.
That, they say, was the reason why she was at the Big Dome last Saturday.
“Obviously she wants a settlement. And this time, Ronnie would be in a position to pay,” said a source close to the cager.
“It could also be a simple case of harassment. Remember, she still has connections with the military. And there are insinuations that Ronnie may have been romantically linked with the girl, which explains the harassment.”
* * *
By some luck, Ronnie eluded his pursuers last Saturday night. No one could figure out how he did it.
There was only one way out of the Rain or Shine locker room, but no one saw Ronnie leave.
I was told that the posse was waiting for him at the south gate, ready to apprehend him and serve him a warrant of arrest.
Had they caught him, Ronnie could have been handcuffed and whisked into a waiting van parked right outside the south gate.
Was it William Shakespeare who wrote that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?”
* * *
If you’re familiar with the layout of the Araneta, you know that each dugout only has one exit (and entry) gate through which Ronnie could have passed. If he turned right from the exit, he would have landed straight in the arms of the posse waiting for him. If he turned left, toward the direction of the hardcourt, he would have made a clean getaway through any of the exit doors if nobody’s looking.
According to reports, Ronnie was shielded from view by his teammates who formed a circle around him when they marched out and turned left. The entire team left at the same time, which is something seldom done.
Now that’s what I call perfect teamwork.
But there was another report. They said Ronnie had left the coliseum in full view of his pursuers. He may have even waved to them.
Only no one recognized him because he was inside the costume of the Rain or Shine mascot.
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