MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia coach Chito Victolero was apologetic after he confronted Alaska import Mike Harris during the Hotshots' 71-100 Game 3 loss in the 2018 PBA Governor's Cup finals on Sunday, December 9.
Victolero entered the court with two minutes left in the 3rd quarter and glowered at Harris after Magnolia import Romeo Travis twisted his ankle when he stepped on the Aces reinforcement while backpeddaling.
Replay showed that Harris was looking in the opposite direction when the incident happened and was suprised by Victolero's reaction to him.
"I am also saying sorry to Mike, okay. Because it's a parang ano lang 'yun eh, kumbaga 'yung moment na 'yun, 'yun ang ano ko," Victolero told reporters after the game.
(I am also saying sorry to Mike. I was just caught in the heat of the moment.)
"Hindi ako nakapag-sorry sa kanya kanina. But he's a good guy, and kumbaga hindi lang ako naka-ano. Maybe next game I will try to lumapit sa kanya and say sorry."
(I wasn't able to say sorry to him earlier. But he's a good guy. It was just my initial reaction in that moment. Maybe next game I will try to approach him and say sorry.)
Harris, who was outdueled in the first two finals games that the Aces lost in contrasting fashion, regained his old form after dropping 36 points and 18 rebounds in the breakaway triumph.
Although Victolero may have said some things to him, the Best Import candidate said he understood the situation.
"I don't have hard feelings towards him. I think he knows me to the extent that he knows I'm not that type of player. It was just one of those responses in the moment," Harris said.
"His star player goes down, twists his ankle, he said some stuff in that moment but I don't take it personal. Because probably if I was the coach, the immediate reaction, that is something that I would probably do too."
"We're going to be competitive. We both want to win in the spirit and the love of the game but I never want to intentionally hurt anybody like that."
The Hotshots aim for a 3-1 lead while the Aces look to equalize when they tangle in Game 4 on Wednesday, December 12, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.