Barako no longer bullish on protest
MANILA, Philippines - Barako Bull has accepted its sorry setback to San Mig Coffee Sunday night, hoping to perform well in its next three games against equally struggling rivals in the PBA Philippine Cup.
"We had a meeting with the commissioner (Chito Salud yesterday) and we got some clarifications. At the same time, we don't want to prolong the process and we don't want controversy so we're moving on," Barako coach Junel Baculi told The STAR.
"We're moving on, but we had a suggestion that hopefully the league can take a look at. Hopefully, they can clear the gray area as this might happen again in a Game Seven of a championship," Baculi also said.
Baculi was with team manager Raffy Casyao and assistant coach Jigs Mendoza in his meeting with Salud the morning after the Energy Cola's sorry 91-92 loss to the Mixers.
Rafi Reavis preserved their win in swiping the ball off the Barako Bull rim following Rico Villanueva’s make-or-break shot in the dying seconds of the match.
The Energy Cola protested the referees' non-call, claiming Reavis should have been given a goal-tending violation. Salud, however, affirmed it was a legal play.
"Once the ball hits the rim, anybody can swipe it in or swipe it off. That's the rule," said Salud on national television after the game.
Earlier yesterday, Villanueva called the league commissioner to apologize for his belligerent conduct after the game.
An online photo shows Villanueva pointing a finger at the commissioner while appealing their case.
"Pinalusot na natin iyon (We let that pass). I credit it to his passion for the game," said Salud.
Despite back-to-back close losses, Baculi said his team remains optimistic.
"Their fighting spirit is still there. We're hopeful we can bounce back and we’re really looking to do good in our next three games against Meralco, Globalport and Air21," said Baculi.