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    Rico Maierhofer keeping fingers crossed he won't be fined for 'shoe-palpal' stunt

    May 28, 2015

    INSTINCT more than anything else forced Rico Maierhofer to play defense against San Miguel Beer with his shoe on hand during one bizarre play in the PBA Governors Cup Wednesday night.

    The lanky big man said he merely acted instinctively when he went up to block a shot by San Miguel Beer's Gabby Espinas using a shoe he lost in an earlier play - a stunt which went viral and prompted a summon from PBA commissioner Chito Salud.

    [See Maierhofer summoned by Salud as PBA sorts out 'shoe block' brouhaha]

    “Nagulat talaga ako, at nagulat rin ako sa sarili ko kasi nagawa ko 'yun. Tumalon ako ng may dalang sapatos. Siyempre, sinunod ko lang instinct ko. Kailangan akong dumepensa that time,” said Maiehofer.

    “Nasa isip ko kasi nun, sasamantalahin ng kalaban yung sitwasyon kung magkakabit pa ako ng sapatos. Kaya ginawa ko, binitbit ko siya (sapatos) tapos tumulong ako agad sa depensa.”

    The former La Salle standout said he had no intention to cheat or attract attention to himself, insisting he was merely trying to do his job. 

    “Unsual rin naman kasi yun. Kahit sa Pilipinas alam ko wala pang gumawa ng ganun,” said Maierhofer. “Pero syempre ako naman ginawa ko lang ang dapat kong gawin. Nalusutan ni Gabby (Espinas) si Liam (McMorrow) sa depensa, kaya humabol ako. Nagkataon bitbit ko nga sapatos ko."

    He said losing a shoe while in the thick of a game was no longer new to him.

    “Dati natanggalan rin ako ng sapatos. At naalala ko naka-shoot yata ang kalaban namin nun sa transition kasi apat lang ang defender. Yun ang ayaw ko na maulit,” he said.

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    “Sakto naman sa paa ko yung sapatos ko. Natatapakan lang kasi lagi kaya ako madalas natatanggalan ng sapatos. Pero saktong sakto sa paa ko yun,” said Maierhofer of his size-13 Nike KD7 shoes.

    [See Non-call on Maierhofer stunt made PBA a laughingstock, rues Guiao]

    Now that league officials are evaluating if Maierhofer will be fined for what he did based on the PBA rule book, the Barako Bull veteran can only keep his fingers crossed.

    “Sana naman walang fine 'yun. Wala naman ako ginawang masama. Saka in the spirit of sportsmanship lang naman yun. Dumepensa lang naman ako,” he said.

    Espinas himself found humor in what Maierhofer did.

    “Natanggal pa lang 'yung sapatos niya, natawa ka na. How much more 'yung humabol pa siya na may dalang sapatos. Tawa kami ng tawa nun eh,” said Espinas, who also hopes Maierhofer will not be meted any sanction.

    “Sana wala nang fine o parusa 'yun kasi ginawa lang naman niya dapat niyang gawin. Dumepensa siya. Saka mainam nga 'yun dahil napansin rin ng mundo 'yun. Exposure sa liga natin."

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