This Day in PBA History: Añejo walks out, as Shell wins 1st championship

Rey Joble

Posted at May 15 2022 03:17 PM

In the history of the PBA, teams have walked out a number of times during a nationally televised game; some walked back to the court, and others simply forfeited the match.

In the 1981 Open Conference, Crispa walked out of the game during its semifinals encounter against Toyota. 

“In the semifinals of the 1981 Open Conference, Crispa walked out of the game in the third quarter, but decided to return upon the prodding of then league commissioner Leo Prieto. Crispa, however, wasn’t penalized,” wrote basketball historian Jay P. Mercado.

The Redmanizers and the Super Diesels clashed in the finals of that conference, which turned out to be the last championship series between these basketball titans, won by Toyota in five games of their best-of-five finals showdown.

A few more similar incidents happened. 

Red Bull walked out in Game 4 of its semifinals series, and although the team returned, the Barakos were slapped a P507,000 fine by the PBA.

Four years later, Talk N Text did a similar thing when it left Game 4 of its best-of-five quarterfinals against Barangay Ginebra with a minute to go in the game due to a questionable call, allowing the Gin Kings to tie the series.

But the Phone Pals’ action cost them dearly as the team decided to forfeit the match. The fine was over P1 million. 

In Game 6 of the 2014 PBA Cup finals between San Mig Coffee and Rain Or Shine, the Elasto Painters walked out with a minute left in the opening quarter and the Coffee Kixers ahead, 30-17.

But then league commissioner Chito Salud persuaded coach Yeng Guiao and his troops, and the Coffee Mixers won the game and the championship eventually.

Despite returning to the hard court, the Elasto Painters were slapped a hefty P2-million fine as under revised league rules, a partial walkout is worth such amount.

But the mother of all walkouts happened on this day, May 15, 1990, when Anejo left the court with 2:52 left in the second period of Game 6 of its title series against Shell. 

The 65ers forfeited the match, allowing the Zoom Masters to win their first title.

Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc, Shell’s biggest stars during that time, considered winning their first championship as bittersweet.

Paras had mixed emotions.

“Para sa akin it’s both insulting and disrespecting ’yung ginawa nila,” said Paras in a previous interview with the author.

“Pero hindi rin naman natin maisip kung bakit nila ginawa ’yun, kaya lang, sa akin kasi, it’s a sport na pinasok mo. You either win or lose. Kailangan sport ka dito and accept losing. During that time medyo naguluhan kami. Kaya lang hindi na namin naisip na hindi na sila lalabas. Pero naisip ko rin, sige sana huwag na lumabas pagod na rin ako eh.” 

Magsanoc believes the first championship, although marred by a walkout, was still sweet.

“Offended? Not at all,” said Magsanoc. “It was a decision that was way beyond us, something beyond our control. We played our best, we tried our best. They’re not in agreement with particular calls, but that was their decision.

“Pero para sa amin, we worked hard to win. That’s the first one for the franchise. The important thing is be a part of a winning team. Lahat naman ’yan ang pangarap and to be able to help the franchise na manalo, immeasurable ’yun.”