MAC Baracael nailed three pressured-packed free throws with 0.3 seconds to play as Barangay Ginebra completed a remarkable fourth-quarter fightback to beat Rain or Shine, 101-100 in a controversial ending which the E-Painters will put under protest.
Rain or Shine appeared to have wrapped up the win after import Arizona Reid nailed a shot clock-beating jump shot off Dior Lowhorn’s tight defense to give the E-Painters a 100-98 lead with exactly two seconds to go.
But coming off a Gin Kings timeout, Baracael took the ball from the inbounds and immediately went for a desperation three-point attempt. Rain or Shine big man Beau Belga challenged the shot but was whistled for a foul by referee Non Quilingen.
The controversial call drew a howl of protest from Belga and the rest of the E-Painters as they claimed there was no contact.
Video replay reveals that, indeed, Belga hardly got into contact with Baracael. The flamboyant Ginebra sophomore forward cooly sank all three free throws with three-tenths of a seconds to go.
Rain or Shine team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que went to the press room and immediately talked to PBA media bureau Willy Marcial.
Yu said they are officially putting the game protest on Saturday night on the grounds that the referee decided the contest.
“We will file a protest and we will write a letter of protest to the commissioner. We will put the game under protest because the referee decided the outcome of the game,” Yu told the media before leaving the press room in haste.
The win improved Ginebra’s record to 3-4 to forge a three-way logjam at the bottom half of the standings along with Globalport and Alaska.
Rain or Shine fell to 4-4 to share joint fourth spot with Barako Bull, which earlier in the day, lost to San Mig Coffee, 77-81.
Ginebra 101 - Caguioa 32, Lowhorn 31, Ellis 11, Baracael 8, Tenorio 8, Maierhofer 6, Helterbrand 3, Mamaril 2, Urbiztondo 0, Wilson 0.
Rain or Shine 100 - Reid 40, Quinahan 12, Lee 11, Belga 10, Arana 8, Chan 5, Uyloan 4, Norwood 4, Cruz 2, Matias 2, Tang 2, Rodriguez 0, Ibanes 0.
Quarterscores: 21-26, 47-49, 70-79, 101-100