RAIN or Shine co-owner Terry Que saw import Arizona Reid turn the ball over 10 times on his return to the PBA on Wednesday night, but there was no trace of alarm on his face.
Instead, Que showed more concern about the ball.
Well, the E-Painters co-owner said he received a lot of complaints from players about the new balls used for the opening double-header of the PBA Governors Cup, with most saying these were too slippery for comfort.
“Madulas daw talaga masyado yung bola. Nagsusumbong sa amin yung mga players namin. Iba daw ngayon eh,” said Que after the Elasto Painters' opening 79-75 win over San Mig Coffee.
Rain or Shine forward Ronnie Matias confirmed Que's observation, saying the balls used were exactly the same type (Molten GL7) utilized in the previous conferences, but for some reason were too slippery that players couldn't get a firm grip when they hold them.
“Ganyan naman yung dati, kaso iba ngayon ang dating. Madulas siya, sobra! Lalo na pag nababasa ng pawis … napakadulas. Parang buko tuloy,” said Matias.
“Yung dati kasi kahit basa kayang ma-grip. Yung ngayon madulas talaga."
One of the referees who officiated the second game revealed they were swamped with requests from both teams that the ball either be wiped or replaced during every dead ball situation.
“Halos lahat nagreklamo. Magkabilang side. Madulas nga daw. Gusto pa nga nilang papalitan ng luma,” he said. “Kaso walang luma doon. Hindi naman pwede ang bola na hindi (official ball ng) PBA.”
“Ginawa na lang namin, pinupunasan na lang namin nang madalas sa pantalon namin,” he added. “Yung ibang players nga, gusto pa kada break papunasan. Tatagal naman ang game.”
A total of 29 total turnovers (19 from Air 21 Express) were made in the first game.
A league official admitted they indeed received numerous complaints from players and officials of the four teams about the balls, but put the blame squarely on the teams.
“Andami ngang nagrereklamo especially sa first game. Pero normal naman yun pag medyo bago ang bola. Pero hindi talaga bago ang mga yun. Na-i-brake in na yun,” said the official who asked not to be named.
He revealed that league sponsor Molten supplies teams with 10 new balls at the start of the season and five before each conference. But team staff usually store the supply instead of letting the players get used to the new balls.
“Ang problema lang kasi sa mga teams, binibigyan sila ng mga bagong bola ng sponsor, kaso yung luma pa rin ginagamit nila. Kaya pag actual game na, nanibago ang mga players nila,” he said.