LUCENA – Jay-R Reyes was perplexed after his ejection from Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, insisting there was not enough contact against Alaska forward Vic Manuel to merit a Flagrant Foul 2.
The reserve center had played quality minutes for San Miguel but was tossed out of the game after swinging an elbow in a rebound play that appeared to hit Manuel squarely in the jaw.
However, Reyes said he was only trying to protect the ball and felt he didn't even hit Manuel hard enough to deserve an ejection.
“Siyempre, rebound ‘yun. Pinrotektahan ko lang ‘yung bola,” Reyes said after the game. “Tapos hindi ko naman siya nakita na nasa kaliwa ko. Kumuha ako ng space para hindi maagaw sa akin ‘yung bola.
“Hindi ko nga siya tinamaan eh,” he added. “Nagtaka ako bakit tumawag ng F2.”
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Manuel, for his part, admitted he anticipated the elbow from Reyes.
“Talagang na-anticipate ko ‘yung siko niya eh. Talagang inartehan ko na rin,” said the best player of Game Three.
The ejection led to a momentum swing by Alaska with Manuel scoring 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth period on the way to the 82-75 win and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Reyes was naturally disappointment since he was playing an excellent game in the absence of June Mar Fajardo. He ended up with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field along with seven rebounds before being ejected.
“Sobrang na-frustrate ako kasi bihira ako maglaro ng medyo matagal sa loob so ‘yung opportunity sayang. Hindi ko talaga alam bakit sila tumawag ng F2,” said Reyes.
Reyes hopes to make up for the ejection.
“Try namin ang best namin na pahabain ‘yung series. Four straight kung kaya. Kasi seven, eight straight (wins) kaya naman namin. Basta focus lang kami sa defense at offense, tapos ‘yung rebounding namin, mas tumaas pa,” said Reyes.