PBA can afford more compelling games
The morning after San Miguel beat Alaska in Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup, choice topic at the wet market sports hub was Stephen Curry and his incredible scoring gifts.
Isn’t Curry, who scored 51 points on Thursday morning, the sharpest ever to heave triples in the NBA?
Buboy Sebreros, charmer from the Mandaluyong market vegetable section, wondered if there had been a pointmaker as magical as Curry in world basketball.
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There was the great Pete Maravich but efforts at comparing The Pistol with Curry did not prosper.
Oh, there was tiny talk about the PBA do-or-die-game at Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday evening, but this touched on an atrocity, the record three successive time outs called by Alaska coach Alex Compton, early in the first quarter.
As for the PBA championship game itself, the full view was that it failed to rise to expectations; very faint fireworks if there had been some at all. Not memorable, in short.
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It was a well-publicized knockout event that, if it were in boxing, dragged into a colorless grab-and-clinch bout, devoid of the necessary drama and promised intensity on hardwood.
The championship, won by San Miguel, was more lopsided than the final score (96-89) indicated.
One balikbayan, visiting from the San Francisco, California Bay Area, did not mince words and cried last Wednesday’s main event at MoA Arena was a big, big yawn compared to the old battles in the original PBA All-Filipino tournaments.
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Has the PBA lost its original sting?
Maybe there are still some hidden intensity around the PBA, but today’s contests in the Philippine Cup, where no foreign reinforcements are allowed, cannot be counted as distant cousins of the original PBA All-Filipino wars, when the hardcourt would regularly burn and glow into a certified suspense theater.
No, there was no cry for something close to the Crispa-Toyota rivalry of old; or for Barangay Ginebra’s epic come-from-behind conquests.
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But something must be done to bring the old joyful fire, when games in the local pro league were always worth remembering.
There was, as expected, cries from jaded aficionados who would often lament that today’s PBA fans seldom get half of their ticket’s worth.
Of course, nobody could demand for a refund. But didn’t the new league commissioner vow, in his first days in office, to upgrade competition?