Richard Howell of Talk N Text (light) vs Wayne Chism and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine (dark). PBA image by Nuki Sabio.
MANILA, Philippines – The PBA Commissioners Cup semi-finals series between 'Talk N Text and Rain or Shine has all the makings of an ill-tempered affair after E-Painters head coach Yeng Guiao and TNT import Richard Howell had a near altercation seconds in Game 1.
Talk 'N Text broke away from Rain or Shine in the fourth quarter to win, 91-85, and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series, but the confrontation between Guiao and Howell towards the end of the game took the shine off the result.
With 17 seconds left in the contest, Howell passed Guiao, who was complaining to an official, and the fiery Rain or Shine mentor gave the import a slight tap on his side. Howell turned and tried to go after Guiao, leading into a bench-clearing incident.
“He (Howell) called me a bi***, the refs heard it, and they didn’t do anything about it,” Guiao later said, as quoted by The Philippine Star. “It’s a profane language.”
“I don’t know what Howell’s problem is. I think he’s having a problem with this game. He’s blocked six times, and he was trying to get it on me. He’s going through my path, and I just stood my ground,” he added.
Howell, for his part, flatly denied calling Guiao a “bi***.”
“Just words going back and forth between me and the coach, and he just said some things that he probably shouldn’t say,” said Howell, as quoted by Spin.ph.
“No, I never cursed him. I was walking by, and he said a few things, but I never said something to start an argument,” he added.
Howell finished with 14 points and 22 rebounds in the showdown, but it was local heroes Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro who came up big in the final quarter by sparking a decisive 20-7 run by TNT.
Meanwhile, TNT head coach Norman Black said the incident at the end of the game will likely be “just the beginning.”
“Probably, that’s the way this series is going to go – intense and rugged,” the multi-titled coach said. “We have to do a good job of controlling our emotions and focus on playing basketball.”