Dec. 04, 2016
Thoughts: Vic Manuel and Chris Exciminiano's Larong Labas moment
Larong Labas (or ligang labas) is defined by the PBA as well as its team owners as a player’s blatant disregard to respect his contractual obligations. I mean, if a team pays a player a ton of dough... the last thing the team wants is for the player to screw things up. A good PBA player has probably a decade to reap the benefits of his talents.
Usually a PBA rookie submits his application at around 24 years of age... unlike in the NBA in which applicants have at least a year of college to support his pro basketball ambition. Teams would often deploy scouts to find the best talents and at the same time research for their flaws in case they go on their separate ways.
So what the hell?
Remember when Eric Menk got injured when he allegedly figured in a bar fight? Major Pain’s toe injury made him miss a lot of games! I am not a mind reader but I bet the Ginebra officials back then would rather have Menk sleeping comfortably than going on a night out. It’s the same thing with Andrew Bynum and his love to blow his knees during bowling alley shindigs. If Menk and Bynum had proverbial crystal balls to see the future, I bet these two would just waste the hours in their bed performing snore sonatas as both players fell from grace right after.
For these guys who frequent barangay-level gameplay, it’s not going to be an accident when they hurt a part of their body especially if they get bonus pay from it. In some ways, drinking in the wee hours and playing other sports are far better than engaging non-PBA scrimmages.
Vic Manuel and Ping Exciminiano should have known better. Apart from worrying on whether or not the Alaska officials would catch them, what if something happened to them? Manuel just returned from sickbay. Exciminiano may be fit but despite his All-PBA Defensive Team citations, is an expendable talent. I know they mean well when they were helping Leo Avenido’s ailing buddy but even the former FEU shooter knows the importance of letting the top honchos know your situation. The mere fact that Alaska will be benching The Muscle Man and Exciminiano despite already without the services of Calvin Abueva and Sonny Thoss is a testament of their strict franchise ideology. Remember when Alaska allegedly prohibited LA Tenorio to join Gilas Pilipinas in the Jones Cup? Or what about the time when Sonny Thoss was sent to China for an acupuncture procedure that runs smack with the FIBA Asia Championship? Maybe they could follow the footsteps of Willie Miller, Joe Devance, and Tenorio and leave the squad but perhaps that’s even a dumber move.
Before becoming what he is now, Manuel played in four teams in two seasons. Prior on joining the Aces, the former PSBA Jaguar is a celebrated trade bait. Meanwhile, Exciminiano is a late second round pick that has yet to average 20 minutes per game. Both players could end up with diminished roles if a trade ensues.
It’s only a one-game suspension so both parties shouldn’t brace for the worst.
But this should be a wakeup call.
The PBA is no stranger to these kinds of mess. A Gilas Pilipinas versus NBA All-Stars match went from skirmish to fan's day when event officials failed to notify the office of David Stern.