|PBA quarterfinal action between Talk 'N Text and Ginabra.
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 3) Barangay Ginebra tied its quarterfinal series against Talk ‘N Text after the latter walked out of the game due to a questionable call with a minute left in Game 4 of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The victory was awarded to the Kings via forfeiture as the Tropang Texters decided not to continue playing due to what they perceived was bad officiating.
“I’ve been in the PBA for 17 years and I pride myself for not quitting. But I never come close to a situation like this,” said TNT head coach Chot Reyes. “I just felt it justified what we did.”
Ginebra was leading 27-20 when Texters forward Ranidel de Ocampo was whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 2 on Ronald Tubid for elbowing the Kings guard on the head with exactly 60 seconds left in the game.
The whole TNT ballclub, including the management led by owner Manny V. Pangilinan, did not like the call and ordered the team to leave the court as a sign of protest.
They were given 7 minutes grace period but they did not show up.
The series is now tied at 2-all and whether the Tropang Texters will show up on Sunday for the pivotal Game 5 remains to be seen.
“There’s no decision yet as of this moment,” said TNT board governor Ricky Vargas.
PBA commissioner Sonny Barrios will summon Texters team manager Virgil Villavicencio this afternoon to shed light on the walkout incident and De Ocampo for his flagrant foul.
Barrios said TNT will be fined at least P500,000 for walking out the game and additional penalties are expected to be handed out.
“The PBA constitution and by-laws states that P500,000 is the basic amount for a walkout. It’s up to the commissioner if there are further compensations that need to be imposed,” said Barrios.
Ginebra head coach Jong Uichico said the Texters are playing mind games.
“They think the refs will change their calls for Sunday’s game. They are trying to play mind games on the refs and the commissioner for Sunday’s game,” said Uichico.
“In spirit of sportsmanship, they should have returned. It’s the referee’s decision. Kaya nga may review to check the call,” said Kings governor Robert Non.
This was the second the time in league history that a team walked out of the game and did not finish the game.
Back in the 1990 First Conference, Ginebra, then known as Añejo and coached by the legendary Sonny Jaworski, also walked out of their Game 7 finals match against Shell at 2:52 mark of the second quarter.
Ginebra did not return and was fined P500,000 by then PBA commissioner Rudy Salud.
Red Bull almost walked out in Game 4 of its semifinal series against San Miguel Beer in 2006 Philippine Cup but the team returned although it did not escape a P507,000 fine.
Curiously, Uichico was the coach of the Beermen and Aldaba also officiated in that Red Bull-San Miguel game.
'Ginebra got 50 more free throws'
Reyes said that game statistics in their quarterfinal series with Ginebra clearly show that there was something wrong about the officiating.
|TNT Coach Chot Reyes
“In the Talk ‘N Text-Ginebra series, Talk ‘N Text has taken 80 free throws… Ginebra has taken 126 free throws. They have taken almost 50 more free throws that we had in three games,” he said.
Reyes said that the numbers are questionable considering that most of Ginebra’s shots were taken beyond the arc as opposed to scoring inside the paint where they could fish more fouls.
“Ginebra has taken 25 more three-point shots in the three games… which means majority of the shots come from the three point line. In the first 12 minutes of this game (Game 4), they had already taken 14 free throws and they only took 6 attempts in the 2-point area. We attempted 20 times in the shaded lane and we were given 5 free throws… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the disparity,” he said.
Reyes said the second flagrant foul call against De Ocampo was the last straw. This, he said, prompted the team to walk out from the game.
Ginebra coach Jong Uichico merely shrugged off the walk out incident.
“We’ll take any win the way it is. If they give it to us by default we’ll take it. We’re here to win,” he said.
Painters level own series
In the second game, Eddie Laure avenged his Game 2 booboo with a huge three-pointer in the closing minutes that helped Rain or Shine survive Purefoods Tender Juicy, 103-100, to tie their own quarterfinal series to 2-all.
Laure fouled James Yap in the second game of the series with less than a second left that resulted a to 94-95 loss. For Friday's game, he buried a three-pointer to put the lead back to the Elasto Painters, 101-100.
Roger Yap had a crucial turnover in the next play that led to 2 free throws of Jeff Chan, 103-100, and Kerby Raymundo and Nino Canaleta missed their own three-point attempts as time expired.
Sol Mercado led Rain or Shine with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists while Gabe Norwood added 20.
Raymundo returned to the series after sitting out Game 3 and fired a game-high 34 points for the Giants.