Who got rich behind FEU’s idiot game?
COACH Glenn Capacio of the Far Eastern U Tamaraws said they lost Game 1 of the UAAP crown series because his men didn’t have the desire.
Capacio missed the whole point.
His players—we can’t call them men—were never lacking in desire.
In fact, they did their best—to lose!
There was an unmistakable desire NOT to play hard and good.
* * *
You couldn’t have missed the blasphemy.
If to a boxing bout, FEU agreed to stay on the ropes right off the first bell.
Then it made no visible effort to move out and avoid trouble.
It didn’t try to put up a decent defense.
Worse, it openly absorbed big blows, with no relevant resistance at all.
* * *
This could happen only to an idiot.
No, never to a top-rated team—the season’s best offensive outfit—and in the opener of a championship series at that.
I caught the opening action of Game 1, but had to readily switch off at the end of the first quarter as the game was going nowhere.
Ateneo, needless to say, had zoomed ahead, 26-8.
It was, indeed, a big wonder how FEU managed to wangle eight measly first-quarter points the way it was shaming and slurring the game of basketball.
* * *
The match should’ve been promptly halted and declared a no-contest.
This didn’t happen to be boxing, so the crowd of about 17,000 at the Big Dome stayed put as the quarters hopelessly faded, 42-21, 60-38, 72-49.
No, I never returned to the game.
I got the final score in the papers the morning after.
* * *
Coach Capacio, either shocked or irked, didn’t make any postgame comment.
But he finally conceded total helplessness a day after the most despicable result in the history of the UAAP Finals.
Capacio said he didn’t see any effort.
But he can’t deny that he also did not try any sensible adjustment.
“I don’t know what happened, we played shocked,” he said.
* * *
As could only be expected, there next came cries of “fraud” and “fixed.”
One close observer of UAAP wars said FEU was supposed to be a hot favorite, but those who allegedly connived with game gangsters simply overdid it.
Or was FEU pegged a plus-10 underdog in sleazy behind-the-scene betting nooks?
If not, why would the Tamaraws play as though they were suffering from diphtheria or dengue, or both?
Were the Tamaraws playing with an invisible gun poked on their silly heads?
* * *
Said respected columnist Billy Esposo: “Do you really believe Ateneo is stronger than FEU? He, he. The Chinese Mafia made a killing again in Binondo.”
Added one philanthropic Chinese trader, great backer of our national pool team: “The horrible loss of FEU to Ateneo in the UAAP basketball title series is a perfect example of how game-fixing works in Philippine basketball.”
Going back to Billy Esposo, he was asked what he would’ve done if he were the UAAP commissioner.
Said the hard-hitting columnist: “The commissioner should meet with the UAAP Board, discuss the problem and recommend that they invite the NBI to probe. It makes a big difference if the teams cooperate with the NBI.”
“That’s how Dante Silverio got to the bottom of the Toyota game-fixing.”
But does the UAAP have a commissioner?
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.