By Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
7 p.m. – Magnolia vs Alaska
The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok admit being a team that embraces a physical brand of play, as evident of the defense that made them one of the PBA’s top contenders.
But going beyond physical is something the Hotshots can’t accept, especially after they were labeled as being dirty by the Alaska Aces in the ongoing Governors’ Cup Finals.
Mark Barroca’s low blow on Chris Banchero late in Wednesday’s fourth game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum prompted coach Alex Compton, usually a guy who is usually careful in what to say in front of the media, to lash out at their Finals foe.
“If he (Compton) feels that we’ve done something wrong on the court, then we’re sorry,” Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon said in Filipino.
Jalalon and the rest of the Hotshots feel taken aback by such claims, given that the series was expected to be played on defense.
Alaska and Magnolia have shot below 40 percent in the series, with the team that plays better defense getting the edge each game.
But Compton and Magnolia coach Chito Victolero also spent a part of the Finals questioning the officiating crew for letting things get out of hand at times, resulting in the two getting a stern warning from the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
“We kinda expected a physical game since the start of the series, as long as there’s nothing dirty,” said Victolero.
Barroca’s low blow on Banchero seemed bound to happen as the two players have been exchanging holds and elbows since the Finals began last Dec. 5.
Parks committed to complete ABL duty
Ray Parks Jr. remains committed in completing his commitment with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League despite being groomed as one of the top picks in Sunday’s PBA Rookie Draft.
The 25-year-old Parks made it clear amid speculations that the former National University star could take his act in the PBA once his name is called in the proceedings slated at Robinsons Place Manila.
“I’m definitely gonna finish the ABL season,” said Parks, insisting his obligation to finish out his ABL contract before taking his act to the PBA.
Parks is set to follow the lead of last year’s top overall pick Christian Standhardinger, who played a full season with Hong Kong Eastern before making his PBA debut for San Miguel Beer in the Commissioner’s Cup.