The first two weeks of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup have been eventful in more ways than one.
This edition of the midseason PBA tournament has had impressive plays both from individuals and teams as well as sprung up some surprises here and there.
Unfortunately, the early goings of the Commissioner’s Cup, too, has its share of head-shaking and lamentable incidences which have resulted to league fines and more fines.
From coaches being ejected for “flagrant misconduct” to players in near free-for-all and run-in with fans to flagrant fouls dished out during the games, there have been aplenty of them.
On Sunday, in the game between the TNT KaTropa and Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, such trend continued and, actually, reached a new height I must say.
With just three minutes into the contest, which TNT won, 114-88, four personalities were ejected from the game, namely Anthony and David Semerad for TNT and coach Louie Alas and Jason Perkins for Phoenix, for their involvement in a near scuffle on the court, which involved much shoving and fighting stance.
Moments later, TNT consultant Mark Dickel was thrown out for getting his second technical foul.
Much physical play ensued with some technical fouls and warnings given along the way.
It all came to a head when Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva threw a clothesline on TNT import Terrence Jones late in the fourth quarter resulting to a Flagrant Foul 2 call and automatic ejection for the “Beast.”
Prior it to, the two were involved in a shoving match and Jones seemingly hitting Abueva on the groin which was not called by the referee.
While I like my basketball fare with some “spice” into it like the next guy in the stands, still I cannot help but frown at these things, isolated as they may be at this point.
Not for anything else, all these things could have been easily avoided had all concerned — players, coaches, game and league officials and fans — exercised better judgment with their action and foresight.
One can be competitive but not necessarily going overboard. One can have lapses but they should be kept to a minimum. One can throw their support for their favorite team or player but not being too overzealous to the detriment of proceedings.
Being a long-time fan of the league, and eventually a coveror of it, I just hope the PBA-dom gets to sharpen itself and limit the occurrence of such incidences.
The PBA Commissioner’s Cup is off to an engaging start and it would be a pity if good old basketball has to continue sharing focus with, or worse be overshadowed by, all these fracas and issues.
Michael Angelo S. Murillo has been a columnist since 2003. He is a BusinessWorld reporter covering the Sports beat.