FROM the lengthy list of penalties recently handed out by the PBA Commissioner's Office, one entry caught our attention. Not so much for the amount of the fine but for the intriguing nature of the violation.
'PBA fined Alaska player Calvin Abueva P4,000 for foisting a stickum sign,' the entry read.
Well, Abueva is one of the enigmatic figures in the pro league and we've seen 'The Beast' get punished for a cache of violations from fighting to taunting. But this is the first time we've heard about the Alaska star getting penalized for 'foisting' something.
Of course, we know that stickum is an adhesive which athletes use for better grip of the ball. It comes in powder, paste and aerosol spray forms, more commonly known as 'pro grip' among ballers.
Although commom in competition, excessive use of stickum can sometimes get a player in trouble, more so if opponents complain that the paste form made the ball sticky, as in the case involving Dwight Howard during his time with the Houston Rockets last season.
So did the Abueva penalty have anything to do with that?
Intrigued, we called up the PBA and the answer floored us: By 'foisting a stickum sign,' the league simply meant flashing a 'dirty finger,' which officials said Abueva did infront of the TNT Katropa bench during their December 23 matchup.
So where did the 'foisting a stickum sign' term come from, we asked. One official said the term had been is use in official league documents since the time of former commissioner Jun Bernardino when describing 'dirty finger' violations.
As for any explanation behind the description, no one knows how it came to mean 'dirty finger.'
Digging deeper, we called up Sonny Barrios, a former PBA commissioner who was executive director during the tenure of Bernardino, Rudy Salud and Rey Marquez.
But Mr. Barrios, too, has no explanation on who coined the term and - for that matter - what is the correlation, if any, between 'foisting a stickum sign' and 'flashing a middle finger.'
Well, we're not out to point a finger at anybody, but the next time someone commits the same violation, we'd like to assure the PBA that using 'flashing a middle finger' to describe the violation is all right - and a lot clearer.
That is, unless they want to sow more confusion.