BARAKO Bull forward Rico Maierhofer issued a public apology for using his shoe to try to block an attempt by San Miguel Beer forward Gabby Espinas during the Energy’s 113-116 loss on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Emerging from a 10-minute meeting with league commissioner Chito Salud, the 6-foot-4 Maierhofer admitted that as a PBA player, he “should have known that using a shoe for defensive purposes gives his team an undue advantage over an opposing player.”
“The lesson here is, it’s my mistake. Ayaw ko gayahin ng mga kabataan yung ginawa ko at ayaw ko rin sabihin nila (basketball fans in general) na cool yung ginawa ko,” Maierhofer told Spin.ph of an event that has gained online attention worldwide.
They Said It!
“Tama lang yung apology. Kasi kitang kita naman na tuwang tuwa pa sya sa ginawa nya including yung mga players and staff doon sa sa bench. Pero yung multa, yun ang hindi dapat. Verbal warning lang sana, masyado naman yung multa kaagad, isang pagkakamali pa lang naman yun nagawa. Kung may multa man, dapat yung mga refs dahils sa non-call na ginawa nila.”
Mikhail Angeles Ortiz
“Hindi siya tama. Hindi siya just kasi may advantage eh so I wanna apologize. I know it’s wrong.”
Although Maierhofer admitted that his action of sprinting back on defense with his right shoe in his hand was done purely on instinct, he did say that his “instinct was wrong."
“Tatanggapin ko naman ano man ang multa. Alam naman ni Com (Salud) at mga tao na pinagsisisihan ko 'yung ginawa ko. Even sa first practcie namin kanina after namin mag-day off, sabi ko sa teammates ko, ‘Dont laugh about it’,” he added.
He added that since the ‘shoe-palpal’ incident, friends, neighbors and even an uncle based in the United States have asked him why he did it.
“Buong mundo yata nagulat sa ginawa ko and I’m the first one to do it and which is wrong. Then, iyung uncle ko from the US, tumawag sa akin, napanood daw niya ako sa US,” he said.
“Eh na-stress naman ako dun kasi hanggang sa US umabot 'yung mali na ginawa ko. Pati mga kapitbahay ko saka friends ko tinatanong ako bakit ganyan.”
Confronted with a similar incident in the future, the 29-year-old said already knows what to do.
“Inaako ko ang lahat. Hindi ko na uulitin. Kukunin ko pa rin 'yung sapatos ko, pero ihahagis ko sa labas ng court kasi ayaw kong may makatapak ng ibang players dyan kasi sa conscience ko, ayaw ko naman makasakit ng player.”