Mendoza: Rain or Shine lucakier than Petron Blaze?

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Saturday, February 1, 2014


THE question is asked all the time. How come a team that holds a huge margin still loses in the end?

It is a question as common as that question in a song: Why does the sea rush to shore?

Petron Blaze was leading Rain or Shine most of the time in Game 2 of their ongoing best-of-seven semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup.

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Almost for the entire three quarters on Wednesday, the Boosters erected twin-digit margins, the biggest being 16 points.

It is no wonder then that many TV viewers, seeing a seemingly lopsided finish in favor of the leading team, would switch channels. They couldn’t be faulted. They believe, with justified reason, that a margin as huge as 16 points would be almost impossible to overhaul.

Wrong.

Almost impossible is simply that—almost impossible.

In life, as in sports, everything is possible.

But how come that possible almost always happens in sports, the PBA games included?

For a team to still suffer—seemingly with irritating regularity to some—a meltdown at this time when the PBA is almost 40 years old already, can only be explained, perhaps, this way. Luck—or the lack of it—is always part and parcel of a team’s shelf life.

And the living, too, most certainly. Man is genius. He invents wonders because God had willed it so. But God, because he is God, is the best inventor of all. He invented luck—and the lack of it.

Petron Blaze was totally outplayed by Rain or Shine in Game 1; the Boosters fumbled and bungled chances and lost—deservedly. But Game 2 was a different case altogether.

Petron played three great quarters to consistently grab 13-point margins. It forgot about the fourth quarter—and forgot about needing four quarters to win a game. Thus, it lost. Again.

I told Jon Hernandez of San Miguel Corporation that I know not of a fool-proof formula to protect a 16-point margin. But then, isn’t there a clear-cut strategy to maintain it up to game’s end, as in a bikathon leader usually completing a solo finish all the way to the finish line? Did Petron’s Gee Abanilla forget about the code? I miss Baby Dalupan, the El Maestro of coaching.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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