TALK 'N Text pair Ranidel de Ocampo and Ryan Reyes have both denied accusations they deliberately hurt Ginebra import Vernon Macklin during the highly-physical Game Four of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series on Friday night.
The Tropang Texters pair admitted playing physical but not dirty in the team’s 101-104 loss before a crowd of 14,000 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum that sent the best-of-five series to a winner-take-all affair on Sunday.
“The physicality is going to be there. It’s how it is, that’s how playoff basketball is,” said Reyes.
De Ocampo also said the physicality is understandable especially with what is at stake - a berth in the Finals.
“Sobrang physical kanina kaya kailangan maging ready kami sa next game (Game Five),” said the Talk `N Text forward, who was shoved by Macklin halfway through the 6:44 mark that resulted in a flagrant foul on the celebrated Ginebra import.
“Siyempre ganyan talaga sa basketball, kailangan ka masaktan.”
Both De Ocampo and Reyes were accused by Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua of trying to hurt his 6-foot-10 import, who emerged with a PBA career-high of 37 points in a winning effort.
De Ocampo, however, denied having deliberately hit Macklin in the groin, reason why the import appeared to have lost his cool, held him on his neck and pushed him.
“Kitang-kita naman sa camera kung binanatan ko, di ba?” said the big man out of St. Francis, who along with Ali Peek and Rabeh Al-Hussaini got the assignment to guard Macklin after the Texters replaced seven-footer Jerome Jordan with the smaller Tony Mitchell.
“Hindi ko (siya) binanatan, nag-dahilan lang yun.”
For his part, Reyes, who was also assessed a couple of hard fouls on Macklin, said he was just doing his job of not allowing the Kings to score on easy baskets.
Besides, he said the physicality is all part of the game and that there was no intention on his part to hurt others.
“It’s the playoffs. Both teams are gonna play physical,” said the defensive-minded guard.
“No one wants to lose. I don’t think anyone is playing cheap shots at all. We’re just playing physical, that’s it, boxing out, and we just can’t give them an easy lay-up. You got to stop him (Macklin) hard, but no intention of hurting anybody.”
With the series down to its deciding game, Reyes expects an all-out war on Sunday between the two teams.
“It’s gonna be an all out war. Both teams want to win,” he said. “But we got to go back to the drawing board and practice, see what we did wrong and make up for the mistakes we did.”