For Fer­rer, his job is done

Sun.Star Baguio - - PRIME SPORTS - AL MEN­DOZA

IN one burst of tem­per, Glen Rice Jr. blew it all.

In one ugly in­ci­dent, Glen Rice Jr. threw it all away.

And, in one in­dis­cre­tion, Glen Rice Jr. tossed out the win­dow all the good things that he’d done for TNT KaTropa.

Isn’t dis­cre­tion the bet­ter part of valor?

Rice had been a source of un­lim­ited power and in­spi­ra­tion for his team­mates as he vir­tu­ally shoul­dered KaTropa into the semi­fi­nals.

But in one mor­tal mo­ment, Rice let ev­ery­thing go down the drain.

Ab­sorb­ing vir­tu­ally all kinds of phys­i­cal­ity from some one not known to ex­actly pos­sess vet­eran moves, Rice re­acted rather il­log­i­cally and paid the price.

Kevin Fer­rer, a vir­tual rookie at Barangay Gine­bra as­signed by the guile-rich coach Tim Cone to guard the pro­lific TNT im­port, suc­ceeded in get­ting the goat of Rice.

And it hap­pened at a most op­por­tune time for Gine­bra, when the game had been merely one­fourth done.

With un­der two min­utes left in the first quar­ter, Fer­rer irked Rice with a body bang dur­ing a re­bound bat­tle.

Rice re­tal­i­ated by push­ing Fer­rer down, quickly earn­ing a fla­grant foul.

But even be­fore the ref­eree could com­plete met­ing out Rice’s in­frac­tion, Rice would fling the ball at the fallen Fer­rer.

Fer­rer was not hit, but Rice’s sec­ond sin mer­ited an ejec­tion out­right. Well, what else can I say? With Rice out of the game, it was just a mat­ter of time be­fore Gine­bra would pro­ceed to pocket the game en route to a 3-1 tri­umph in their best-of-five se­ries.

In Rice’s ab­sence, TNT had tried ev­ery­thing to de­fend the cause. But in a pro­tracted bat­tle as in a skir­mish last­ing three more quar­ters, one with su­pe­rior fire­power would surely pre­vail in the end.

Justin Brown­lee par­layed Rice’s ban­ish­ment into a vir­tual one-man show, prac­ti­cally repris­ing his

heroic games last year in pow­er­ing Gine­bra to the cham­pi­onship.

All told, Gine­bra eas­ily beat TNT, mak­ing the vic­tory a scar to stay in Rice’s ca­reer. Lucky for Rice if TNT re­hires him next year; what do you think?

Mean­while, Barangay is on its way to de­fend­ing its crown, fac­ing Mer­alco in Game One on Fri­day in Lu­cena City.

It is a re­turn bout, with Mer­alco aching for re­venge af­ter los­ing the crown on Brown­lee’s longdis­tance heave at the buzzer last year.

Fer­rer wasn’t around yet when the Gin Kings bested the Bolts in six.

But al­ready, Fer­rer had more than con­trib­uted to Gine­bra’s ti­tle-re­ten­tion bid by bring­ing Rice to pur­ga­tory. Good job, Kevin. THAT’S IT A keen-eyed coach named Day­ong said it all: “It is a car­di­nal rule that an in-bound­ing player should never pass the ball to­wards the di­rec­tion of the op­po­nent’s court.” That’s what La Salle did on Sun­day, when an in­bound pass in­tended for An­drei Cara­cut fal­tered near mid­court, lead­ing to an in­ter­cep­tion that keyed a foul-bait­ing drive by Ate­neo hero Matt Ni­eto. Ni­eto sank both free throws for Ate­neo’s heart­stop­ping 76-75 win, seal­ing a 7-0 elim­i­na­tion sweep of the UAAP bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment.

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