Fans blame Abueva for 'MMA in the PBA'
MANILA, Philippines – In game 2 of the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, the San Miguel Beermen and the Alaska Aces did more than just play basketball. Multiple flagrant fouls, double fouls, and a technical foul were called and both teams had to be separated several times.
The physical play was so intense some fans started calling it the "MMA in the PBA," with all the bodies that hit the floor and the number of times players got tangled with each other.
This prompted Commissioner Chito Salud to summon personnel from both clubs to his office on Sunday, January 11, 2015, with sanctions expected to be handed down.
Abueva started it
In a post on Rappler's Facebook page on the story of Salud summoning players and other personnel, fans pointed the finger at Alaska's Calvin "The Beast" Abueva as the instigator of all the "dirty" play.
"Si Calvin Abueva sobrang dumi maglaro. He should have been suspended," said Bai Naimah Noor. (Calvin Abueva plays dirty.)
Rodrigo B. Basea echoed Noor's statement: "Calvin Abueva is a classic bad example of a very bad player [in] the eyes of millions of PBA fans."
While, Jimmy Pascual Dela Cruz also blamed Alaska head coach Alex Compton for tolerating Abueva's style of play.
"Abueva started it tinolerate ni Compton. Pwedeng agressive ang player pero hindi yung para makapanakit. Sa kanya makanti mo lang nagfa-flop na konting bangga lang kunwari titilapon na siya malakas... Nakikita ng mga manunood 'yun kung ung mga opisyal hindi pag-boxing na lang sila. Pati tuloy si June Mar [Fajardo] kalinis maglaro lumalaban na rin."
(Abueva started it and Compton tolerated him. A player can be aggressive but not to the point where he's already hurting others. If it was him, just a little contact and he flops, acting as if he was hit hard. Viewers see all of his antics, if the officials can't they might as well just let them fight. Even June Mar [Fajardo], who plays clean, is learning to fight back.)
But other fans say the Alaska forward shouldn't shoulder the blame.
John Paul Aquino said "Don't blame the player, blame the system. Noon may defensive player award at tapal king/shot blocker, ngayon ang tinuturo na ng bawat team eh hard foul pag na open for a drive or fastbreak hinde bola hinahabol kamay or katawan."
(There used to be a defensive player award and best shot blocker award, but now the only thing young players are taught is how to foul hard especially when the opposing player gets an open lane to the basket, instead of going for the ball, they hack his hands or his body.)
He cites young athlete Kobe Paras as an example saying the young high-flyer is starting to improve his game because the focus of his training in the US is on his basketball skills and not how to be physical against his opponents.
"Noong tuneup games ng Gilas against dominican republic napikon sa sobrang physical game ng gilas. Kahit mga import yan ang feedback sa PBA," Aquino added.
(During Gilas' tuneup game against Dominican Republic the national team was too physical. Even imports have the same feedback.)
Others said the game's officials should also be accountable.
"Suggestion lang. Sana isali rin mga referee sa mga ipapatawag ng commissioner. Sila yung unang may kakayahang i-kontrol ang laro," said Palao Ninracloz.
(I suggest the commissioner to also summon the referees since they should have had the game under control.)
Physicality vs sportsmanship
While some fans believe and have accepted this physical type of play as the PBA's identity, some are say it is too much and no longer displays the type of sportsmanship that the league should be championing.
"Commissioner Salud should and must do something. The games are no longer proper to watch for the youth. They are not role models of sports," said Richard Garcia Montoya.
Aaron Cervantes had a lot to say on the matter: "It's a pity that the league allows this type of plays for the sake of excitement/entertainment. These players are not gladiators and they are just trying to earn a living. They should be treated humanely and not mere pawns of the corporate world. I think that the owners and officials of the PBA teams should also be summoned by the Commissioner to explain the apparent lack of control on their players."
He asked the following questions which other fans could ponder on as well: "Are these officials condoning the acts of hooliganism by some of their players or specific instructions are given to their players to hurt the players of the opposing team? Is it the norm to win at all cost at the expense of the well being of these players. Do we have coaches who give specific instructions or allow their players to play rough simply because they don't have the materials to win a game fair and square? Do we actually have coaches who are professional in the the real sense of the word? I can't help but to pose these questions since I'm beginning to dislike watching the games."
The series is tied at 1-1 and the games are expected to become more intense but does it mean that more players will be summoned to the commissioner's office? As entertaining as it can be for some viewers, at the end of the day, this is basketball and not a wrestling match. The competition is tight and the games are getting exciting but cooler heads should prevail.
What are your thoughts on the way the series is shaping up so far? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com
PBA 2015 Philippine Cup Finals: