NOT that they didn't need the money, but it seems Rain or Shine co-owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu were only too willing to cough up the P2 Million fine slapped on the team for their "partial walkout" in Game Six of the recently concluded PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
One of only two 'independent teams' in a league laden with teams with links to San Miguel Beer and the MVP group, Rain or Shine and owners Messrs Que and Yu accepted their fate like true sportsmen but at the same time hurled a challenge to PBA commissioner Chito Salud.
"Improve the quality of officiating and clamp down on lopsided trades."
The first demand is of utmost importance as the officiating in the recently concluded PBA playoffs stuck out like a sore thumb. Allow me to refer to the last two plays of the hotly contested Game Six of the semifinal encounter between San Mig and Ginebra to stress my point.
To this day, how the PBA played blind and deaf to the critical foul whistled on James Yap against Mark Caguioa in the last 16.2 seconds of Game Six and the glaring non-call on a driving Peter June Simon in the last six seconds still befuddles me.
That is a clear case of how consistently inconsistent officiating is in the league. In local referee parlance, we refer to this situation as: 'Yung hindi panawag, pinituhan. 'yung panawag, hindi pinituhan!
With the P2 million in fines paid by Rain or Shine now going to the Players' Trust Fund, here's hoping the PBA makes a similarly huge investment in upgrading the game appreciation of their pool of referees.
As for the lopsided trades, the PBA will have to live with it for the time being.