THE Friday start of the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals was weird, grisly even.
First, Star Margarine routed GlobalPort, 126-73. If you can believe that, then you will insist Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte will run for president in 2016.
Second, Alaska stopped Ginebra’s lucky streak 114-108. If you think the win wasn’t wrapped in mystery, then you are pretty sure Digong will do a U-Turn and make a go of it next year.
How can a virtual trespasser like Star score a record-breaking victory against a team that had gallantly barged into the elite Top 4?
Leading by as many as 61 points at one stage, Star’s 53-point winning margin was the most in playoff history since the PBA’s birth in 1975.
The worst beating of all time was inflicted by U-Tex in a 154-99, 55-point demolition of Great Taste in the 1980 regular season. Both teams have since been disbanded.
As a result of Star’s victory, a winner-take-all has ensued for both on Sunday, with the victor advancing to the best-of-five semifinals.
But even as GlobalPort had earned that precious twice-to-beat advantage over Star, I knew immediately that the Batang Pier were to sail on rough waters after I saw Star coach Tim Cone dispatch James Yap with impunity.
Unused virtually in many elimination games, Yap could only respond with intensity upon the urgings of Cone, who is the master not only in pulling things out of the fire but also in player motivation.
Together with tested import Marqus Blakely, Yap smoked GlobalPort without letup to push Star into a knockout match that might, based on Friday’s rout, result anew into a bloody gore in Star’s favor.
Now, as to why Ginebra had to exit in a rather awful manner after having so courageously survived elimination on Japeth Aguilar’s winning trey against NLEX at the buzzer on Wednesday, listen up.
After leading by as many as 16 points, Ginebra crumbled totally after Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, using his usual roughhousing tactics, successfully baited Ginebra import Orlando Johnson into losing his cool late in the third quarter.
After technicals, Johnson fell to cemetery silence and would never be a factor again, leading to an Alaska uprising in the fourth en route to a knockout-halting win that stunned Ginebra no end.
Welcome to the theater of the absurd.