Emotions ran high on Wednesday night during the tension-filled Game 4 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals showdown between rivals Star and Barangay Ginebra that even Hotshots team manager Alvin Patrimonio nearly lost his cool.
One of the most mild mannered figures—both as a player and now a team official—seen by many in the pro ranks, Patrimonio got carried away by his emotions early in the final canto after the Hotshots picked up three quick fouls in less than a minute.
Making matters worse was Gin Kings big man Dave Marcelo got away with a traveling violation that led to a Kevin Ferrer bucket, stretching their lead to 69-62.
Initially, it was Hotshots coach Chito Victolero who blew his top as he immediately rushed to a game official and, in the process, was slapped with a technical foul for crossing the hash line.
That prompted Patrimonio to stand up from his seat at the Star’s bench and express his own view on game officials, only to be restrained quick by Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo.
“Nadala lang (ng emosyon),” was how Patrimonio, now 50, described the incident to a pair of veteran sports scribes at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum hallway after emerging from Star’s dugout following a 93-86 loss to Barangay Ginebra.
“Nakita naman natin na dikit naman ‘yun game kahit na may ano,” he added, before taking a pause. “But I’m very proud of the players kasi lumalaban sila ’til the end.”
One of only two players who bagged four MVP titles, Patrimonio admitted he’s more bent on helping the Hotshots regain their focus, with the series now down to a virtual best-of-3 series starting with Game 5 on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Nothing comes easy in life. Kailangan paghirapan ‘yung magandang result,” he stressed. “Iri-remind na lang namin ‘yung mga boys na this is now just a best-of-3. We have to respect Ginebra rin kasi maganda rin ‘yung game plan nila.
A six-time pro league champion who called it quits in 2004, Patrimonio admitted he finds it not that easy to keep his emotions in check as a team official.
“Hindi mo lang mailabas. Whereas ‘pag player ka, nailalabas mo through game,” he said.
Sounding professional as ever been, Patrimonio admitted the latest twist on their blockbuster matchup should only provide better treat to fans, saying: “‘Til the last minute, talagang digit talaga. It’s good for the league talaga. Nakakatuwa.
And what the Hotshots should observe in Game 5? Patriminio said: “Of course huwag magpapaapekto sa crowd and sa mga referees.
“Stay positive lang ang battlecry palagi ng team. Naka-focus lang ang lahat sa game. ‘Yung character ng team makikita natin sa Game 5.”