The first quarter of Smart Gilas vs Burger King match was a sorry sight. Four flagrant fouls were called in the 1st half alone. I've never seen this kind of thing happening in the PBA before. Even veteran commentator Andy Jao was shocked by what he's seeing (great job by Mr. Jao and Coach Del Rosario in calling the game). There's just a huge difference between hard-nosed defense and downright dirty. Luckily, in the second half, the referees gained control of the game. No more untoward incident happened.
Don't misunderstood me, I'm not pampering the development team. The Smart Gilas team is tough. They faced the likes of Jackson Vroman, Beshara, and other tough Asian cagers but didn't back down. Smart Gilas IS TOUGH, QUINITO, if they weren't they would react in an immature manner to every hard foul they received, INSTEAD, the players brushed it off. Wynne Arboleda can't even stand a heckling fan. In contrast, Smart Gilas cagers withstood being hit in the face, elbowed and undercut while making a layup without whining about it to the referees.
However, the intimidation tactics worked. "Our players became hesitant to drive to the basket and dive for the loose balls." wrote Chris Tiu in his blog.
Smart Gilas still has a long way to go.