Nothing in PBA rulebook that says Maierhofer ‘shoe-palpal’ is illegal, admits official
With one shoe, Rico Maierhofer forces Gabby Espinas to adjust in mid-air. Jerome Ascano 

THE PBA’s rulebook has no specific guideline for the league to make an immediate action on Rico Maierhofer’s “shoe-palpal” on Gabby Espinas and league media bureau chief Willy Marcial it is possible the incident would be tackled by the PBA board or included in the discussion on the rule change during the offseason.

“Wala sa rule book eh. Siguro okay din kapag i-technical o hindi,” Marcial told Spin.ph on Thursday.

“Baka sa susunud na tournament committee, ibi-bring up iyan or before the start of season, kailangan gumawa ng rule changes, baka ma-tackle,” he said.

“Pero malay natin, sa board ma-tackle din, pero sa ngayon, di pa natin masabi.”

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

Meantime, San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said Maierhofer’s attempt to block Espinas’ shot should have been deemed illegal since the Barako Bull forward used an object to prevent a shot.

“I think that’s illegal eh kasi ginamit niya yung sapatos niya to block the shot. Nailang yung si Espinas eh,” said Austria, who nonetheless can’t help but laugh at the incident.

Austria felt Maierhofer’s defensive play, which was let go by the referees, could set a bad precedent for other players.

“In my opinion, it should be illegal kasi kung puwede pala yun, pueede pala hubarin yung shirt tapos habulin yung bola para supalpalin yun. So thats’ illegal,” said the SMB coach, whose team scored a 116-113 to deal the Energy their first defeat this conference after a 4-0 start.

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

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