ANYBODY who isn’t getting excited about this year’s PBA All-Stars in Palawan isn’t a basketball fan.
It’s not so much the All-Star game, which really isn’t much of a break from the ennui of elimination round matches. I mean, it’s basically like someone dreamed up a quadrupleheader crammed into a single playdate that would spare us from having to watch Barako Coffee play.
Of course, that’s at most a tenuous, conspiracy-theory type of link between the two matches but the whistle on Joe Devance as he challenged a Kerby Raymundo jumpshot with 1.7 seconds remaining had walkout written all over it.
Except that Alaska Aces, the aggrieved party who went from being five minutes within a posible series-tying win to an 0-2 hole that’s tough to climb out of, had no time to walk out. Raymundo went to the stripe with the game tied and completed an intentional split. He made the first and missed the second to deny the Aces a chance to burn a timeout and make one final play.
“It is a foul that you must call because there was contact and they were calling [fouls of the same nature] in the first quarter,” said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.