To call or not to call a timeout
In the recent Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) weekend game in Passi City, Iloilo, TNT Katropa already has the game in the bag against Rain or Shine with less than a minute remaining.
However, TNT still sued for time to map out a play for a final shot and given its recent spate of losses, was probably looking at the quotient system in case of ties down the road.
Regardless of the reasons, this did not sit well with the Elasto Painters’ bench and despite efforts by the TNT coaches to apologize at game’s end, feathers were clearly ruffled.
We have seen this disagreement on a number of occasions. Coaches who are about to lose the game feel offended when this happens.
In a playoff series, the losing coach could use the “slight” as a motivation for the team in the next game.
As to whether that works or not (just like intentionally getting a technical for supposed missed calls) may need exact science to prove.
The matter can be viewed as both a personal and sport-centric issue. A losing coach can say “Bakit pa (Whatever for)?” if a team on the verge of winning still calls a timeout in the dying seconds. It can be deemed as personal, more so if the opposing coaches already have bad blood between them.
This is probably just as bad when a team that’s ahead tries to accentuate the win with a dunk at the end, in jubilation or outright disregard for an opponent’s distraught feelings.
The intention to keep on scoring and calling a timeout to draw a play will probably stay as long as the quotient system that kicks in when ties happen at the end of the eliminations is around.
The reason for the quotient is to eliminate too many unnecessary knockout games and the only knockout game is for the eighth or last playoff spot. League chief statistician Fidel Mangonon reminded me that the PBA quotient involves only the teams that are tied at the end of the eliminations.
With the quotient rule, losing coaches may just have to stretch their understanding when these timeouts happen.
It won’t be easy because losing never feels good, even as you try to be a sport about it.
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