THERE is no such thing as 'bigayan' in the PBA.
This was the strong denial made by San Miguel Corp. head of basketball operations Robert Non in the face of mounting accusations from fans that the battle between sister teams San Mig and Petron was 'scripted' to go the distance.
“It doesn’t exist, whether magkapareho ng management or magkaibang teams, there is no such term as ‘bigayan’ or giving away a game,” Non, also the current league chairman, told Spin.ph on Thursday. “There is no such thing as ‘bigayan’ in the PBA.”
Spin.ph's Facebook and comments pages have been filled with comments from fans insinuating that the best-of-seven title series was 'rigged' to go seven games, the suspicion only growing after Petron won Game Six, 99-88, on Wednesday night to level the series at 3-3.
The flames were further fanned by what fans had perceived as a number of calls that went Petron's way in Game Six which left San Mig coach Tim Cone fuming.
Non said he is aware of the insinuation from some fans but said it is simply not true.
“Maraming mawawala sa kanila, prestige kasi ‘yan and pride. At kung nagbibigayan, hindi naman papasukin ng mga fans ‘yan. Minsan nga nagkakaaway din ‘yang mga ‘yan,” said Non.
“May mga instances na dalawang sister teams, naglalaban. At that time, it was San Miguel and Ginebra. But in actual games, buhos lahat. Never ka magbibigay na sasabihin mo isang game or two games, para maghabol lang para mag-Game Seven. I don’t think so,” said Non.
Petron veteran Ronald Tubid backed up Non's claim, saying there was simply too much at stake for the players in terms of pride and bonuses to play around with the results.
Non, who is board representative of Ginebra, also pointed to the injuries suffered by players who continue to play through the pain to help their respective teams win.
“Katulad ngayon, may injury ang Petron (Elijah Millsap, Alex Cabagnot) but they are still fighting. Kung injured ka, mas magbibigay ka di ba?” said Non.
Still, Non said he feels the players are not affected by the comments from fans.
“Hindi naman nila iniintindi ‘yun. Ang concentration nila is nasa game and to win,” said Non.