Rico Maierhofer left amused as bizarre shoe defense goes viral
Barako Bull's Rico Maierhofer holds on to his shoe as he tries to stop Arwind Santos and later rises to challenge Gabby Espinas. Jerome Ascano

AS soon as Barako Bull forward Rico Maierhofer rose to pull off a “shoe-stopper” against San Miguel's Gabby Espinas, the online world went abuzz.

PBA fans and even players gave their own take regarding the incident, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by American digital media company Bleacher Report, which mentioned Spin.ph’s article on Maierhofer’s now famous “shoe-palpal” attempt.

Maierhofer felt “crazy” upon learning from his friends that his wacky shoe incident landed at Bleacher Report.

“Nakakaloko,” the 29-year-old Maierhofer told Spin.ph on Thursday, who promises to still wear his neon green size-13 Nike KD 7 signature sneakers in the coming games.

[See Is Maierhofer's 'shoe-palpal' attempt against Espinas legal? PBA official gives take]

“Di ko naman siya kino-consider na embarrassment. Nangyari lang kasi na natanggal yung sapatos ko tapos wala na akong time isuot kasi nag-tuloy lang yung play.”

The former La Salle forward said his teammates can’t help but laugh at the incident as San Miguel sued for timeout, following Joseph Yeo’s fastbreak layup to give Barako Bull a 45-43 lead, 5:04 left in the second quarter.

“Yung mga teammates ko tumatawa. Di daw kasi nila mapigilan after mangyari yun,” he said, smiling.

In the end, San Miguel nosed out Barako Bull, 116-113 in a thrilling ending, but Maierhofer’s “seconds to fame” will forever be part of the PBA’s history.


[See Rico Maierhofer no goody two shoes, but insists 'shoe-palpal' a smart play]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava