Game 7's are good for sports. There is so much anticipation, hype and excitement leading up to the game that in most cases, the game itself turns out to be a letdown. The 2008 Philippine Cup Finals ended up with a game 7, thanks in part by a controversial decision by the commissioner to overturn a call which led to the suspension of the league's most popular player, James Yap for one game that Purefoods lost. It was a game that at least lived up to the anticipated intensity.
I had to see for myself why for the first time ever Sta. Lucia was on the verge of winning an All Filipino crown. I worked for the PBA and the team never really was synonymous to excitement, let alone winning. So after an MRT ride to Araneta, I was set to witness my first PBA game of the conference live.
There were over 18,000 people in attendance, the full capacity of Araneta, despite the claims of the UAAP of 25,000 during ADMU/DLSU games. There are only 13,000 seats in the big dome with room for 5,000 to stand in the aisles. Claiming that there are just as many people standing as those with seats is crazy.
My thoughts on the game...
- I think the new rules of the PBA is good for the league and our players. It makes the them more physical and shots are much harder to come by... which should be the case to begin with. It rewards physical conditioning good execution. Talent is still showcased while it gets our players accustomed to international style of play.
- Peter Simon has the heart of a Lion! I would want him to play for me for a game 7 anyday.
- Kelly Williams is the most athletic player in the PBA. You just cannot teach some of the things he can do.
- James Yap is the best scorer in the country whether he's married to Kris Aquino or not.
- Marlou Aquino who was already pretty slow is even slower now and hardly gets off the ground. But you can't teach 6'9".
- And lastly, I think the main reason that the Realtors won is because they got players who were already proven winners... Denok Miranda won in FEU, Dennis Espino won in UST, and Joseph Yeo won in DLSU. Combine that with the two best picks from the last 2 drafts Williams and Reyes, the attitude and the talent became championship caliber.
I still gotta get used to calling Sta. Lucia "PBA Champs". They have enough young guns to keep it going a few more times.