No, we haven’t seen it all.
At this point, where a slight nudge or flick of the wrist is all it would need to trigger chaos, it is no longer necessary to wait for that moment, where all hell’s going to break loose.
We saw a lot of extra-curricular activities unfold in Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals between Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text — the unneccesary pushing, shoving, and shouting among players, unprofessional conduct, extreme physicality, you name it.
The PBA’s set of rules (or the lack of it) has pushed this series to take a turn for the worse. All the action that transpired throughout Game 4 is indicative of what may possibly occur in less than 48 hours, when both squads lock horns anew for a pivotal Game 5.
Game 4 has been the most heated affair in the series so far. Furthermore, there were countless instances where players would just get away with cheap shots and blatant aggression. Some acts, however, were not tolerated and were penalized, but because the league lacks an ultra-specific set of do’s and don’ts, or a defined threshold between what is legal and what is prohibited, opportunities to do such unprofessional acts surface.
Case 1: Ivan Johnson elbowed Jervy Cruz to try and erase him out of his way after the latter had fouled him.
Case 2: Raymond Almazan shoved Johnson after the Tropang Texters import tried to eavesdrop on an Elasto Painters midcourt huddle.
Case 3: Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jireh Ibañes got entangled and ended up shoving each other, while the latter pulled the former’s jersey in trying to maintain his balance.
Case 4: Moments after, JR Quiñahan threw the ball intentionally and hit Ganuelas-Rosser in the face. It prompted Johnson to rush towards the Rain or Shine big. Quiñahan was moments away from getting crushed, but thanks to Head Coach, Yeng Guiao, and the rest of the squad who stormed the court, Johnson did not pull his trigger.
There were countless illegal screens. There were tons of excessive holding. However, the officials just let all of that to happen as if they did not have control of the match.
Almost the entire Rain or Shine bench entered the floor after the near free-for-all instigated by Ganuelas-Rosser and Ibañes, an absolute no-no however you look at it, but the league did…. you guessed it right… NOTHING.
“It’s borderline… almost having a brawl every single moment.” – Jong Uichico
Some might say, “But hey, that’s basketball! You have to be tough. You will get hurt.”
Of course you will get hurt. It’s basketball, but getting fouled, jockeying for position to get rebounds, driving strong to the hoop, and the like — all those examples are part of the game.
All the extra stuff in Game 4? Not basketball.
From what we saw, not only in Game 4 but in many occasions throughout the conference, it seems the league just wants its constituents to deal with it.
Deal with it? But why are all of these happening in the first place?
There is a reason why the adage “prevention is better than cure” is still relevant until now.
The officials have control over what should happen on the court. They are in charge of what to allow and what not to allow, and they should be authoritative.
While the officiating philosophy gives the viewers a more exciting and fast-paced match (referees call less fouls, let go of more action, and expect the game to be finished in a shorter amount of time, among other reasons), it is also the reason why all of this hullabaloo exist.
There is a reason why reinforcements always claim physicality in the PBA is way up there compared to other leagues around the world and why they complain about it during games. There is a reason why players continue to rant about the officiating on social media. There is a reason why the list of players and coaches getting slapped with Ts, ejected, fined, or suspended goes on and on.
It’s because of what is allowed — which is based on what officials CHOOSE to allow.
The officials don’t even serve warnings. They don’t even talk to players and tell them to avoid doing unnecessary antics. Moreover, players get away with whatever cheap shot they can think of. They get away with whatever it is that they can do on the floor, since it seems that there no limits to what is allowed or what is not.
Is it the only way to sell the sport or in the vernacular make it “patok?” Is it the only way to make Philippine basketball entertaining? Is there no other way to raise the quality of play than being physical?
Chot Reyes even told his 2014 Gilas Pilipinas team that they had to “unlearn” a few aspects of the game because the way the game is played elsewhere is different.
“It will escalate if they allow it to escalate. The refs are supposed to control the game and protect the players. They are letting go of a lot of physical contact kaya ganoon ang mangyayari. The refs need to control the game. Hindi na nacocontrol ang physicality. It’s a nice series. I don’t want to turn it into an ugly series.” – Yeng Guiao
Why can’t we focus on the beauty of the sport itself? Why can’t fans indulge in just seeing spectacular plays, gravity-defying moves, splendid execution and offensive sets, in-game coaching brilliance, and championship-caliber basketball?
Unless the league does responds to the situation and has a long-term plan to assure a proper sportsmanship, we can expect more action, more blood, more postgame shouting matches, and more five or six-digit fines added to the so-called “players fund.”
Aren’t they becoming tired of it?
Aren’t they getting tired of having to summon players each time, having to issue statements, having to review plays overnight, and having to suspend or sack referees?
I am starting to feel a little exhausted about it, because I know this isn’t basketball.
I hope they realize there is more to basketball than just pushing and shoving.
Game 4 was a stern wake-up call, and unless they act upon it, I won’t be surprised if chaos ensues one of these days.
This isn’t basketball.
Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory
2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.
The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.
The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.
“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.
Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.
Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.
Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.
Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.
While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.
It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.
The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.
As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.
Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’
Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.
After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.
The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.
“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.
“It’s just humbling, definitely.”
However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best, being the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.
“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.
“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”
Moreover, he continue answering the call when Gilas needs it as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.
“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”
Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup
Stronger than ever
Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.
Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been rehabilitating his injury and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.
SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.
Romeo has a lot of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.
Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.
The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win
Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.
So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”
After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.
Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.
Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.
The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.
The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.
Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.
The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).
SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.
CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.