I read in the Internet that PBA legend Ricardo Brown, the 1985 PBA Most Valuable Player who has been residing in the US since he quit playing due to a cardiac o problem in 1990, has expressed dismay over the antics of Beau Belga during Rain or Shine’s win over crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra recently.
“Is this what the PBA has come to?” “Who is this guy? Are you kidding me?” he said, referring to Belga. “Is this what the PBA has come to? Is this what the PBA fans want to see today? I’ve got news for you. This is NOT basketball at a high level and is an embarrassment to Philippine basketball. Disgraceful.”
Belga’s actions left a bitter taste in the mouth of Ginebra fans, forcing one supporter (sic) to throw a plastic bottle on the court during the fourth quarter.
Yes, Ricardo Brown, that is what the PBA had come to long ago, fans throwing all kinds of rubbish – paper balls, plastic bottles, and coins – in the direction of players playing against Ginebra and the referees. Ginebra is the crowd’s favorite and that crowd is rabid about Ginebra. When referees’ calls go against Ginebra, the Ginebra fans go ballistic. I know, I have been in their midst several times.
They chant “Ginebra, Ginebra” when Ginebra leads or when it rallies. No other team gets the same kind of boost from its fans. That is why the opposing players love to taunt the Ginebra crowd when they douse Ginebra’s rallies. That is what Belga did to the rabid Ginebra fans. They got so irate, they threw water bottles at him. It has been like that since Robert Jaworski joined the team in 1984.
Brown also chastised Rain or Shine Coach Yeng Guiao for his conduct. What Guiao has done and been fined stiffly for, Jaworski did before, except maybe raise the dirty finger. But Jaworski, playing coach of Ginebra, uttered invectives at referees, pointed an angry index finger at them, and even led his players to walk out of the court because he didn’t like the referees’ calls.
As a player, he was rugged and hard on opposing players. In an Ginebra-San Miguel game, SMB player Allan Caidic landed on his head on a rebound play. Jaworski made the slit throat gesture saying “patay na ba?” It so happened the commissioner during Jaworki’s coaching/playing years, was Jun Bernardino who idolized Jaworski. He got away with misbehavior and scathing remarks for which Guiao has been penalized severely.
In 2009, Wynne Arboleda of Burger King got so piqued at the jeering of some fans that he went up the stands and charged the fans. PBA Commissioner Sonny Barrios suspended Arboleda for one year for that misconduct. But Barrios also addressed the fans, exhorting them to be “more responsible when they watch games, to cheer not jeer.” Current PBA Commissioner Salud has not addressed Ginebra’s rabid followers similarly.
Come, Ricky, and see for yourself the level of PBA basketball now. You are right, it is disgraceful.