The Mystery of the Crumpled Paper Thrower

Vito Cruz, Manila
July 15, 2014
The Mystery of the Crumpled Paper Thrower

On one cold, rainy Tuesday night, my wife and I are having our reading date in our favorite coffee joint here in the corner of Vito Cruz and Taft Avenue. We were supposed to go home to our baby Iago but decided not to because of the looming Typhoon named Glenda, which, as I was writing this, appeared to have landed in the Metro Manila area with this downpour. As she was sipping her favorite Iced Caramel Machiatto and I my scorching, lip-melting hot mint-blend tea, we’ve decided though to go home tomorrow instead, storm or no storm, just to be with our growing baby boy.
For now though, we contented ourselves to just stare at the recent pictures and videos of our Iago, laughed at his laughs and smiled at his smiles. Oh our baby boy, we missed him already.
And then we started to write. Hers with her novels and mine with my blogs. And so I cut to the chase and went with it, straight to the throat. I decided to write about this mystery man from the NCAA. You see, league commissioner Arturo “Bai” Cristobal has banned this fan for the rest of Seaosn 90 for hurling a debris shot put-like style on this poor referee Ian Borbe right after the Jose Rizal-Letran game the day before. Cristobal tells us that a behavior like this for a fan will automatically translate to complete denial of entry for the rest of the year. Meaning, no more NCAA games for this man this season.
The problem though is that the NCAA hasn’t identified this mystery man. The only clue is that he’s from Letran. And then nothing else. Cristobal stresses though that they’re in the process of identifying our crumpled-paper-throwing unsub (Thank you Criminal Minds!). If you don’t know yet, this debris-pelting incident was partly borne out of the commotion caused by the ejection of Knights coach Caloy Garcia, who did a Yeng Guiao and got tossed out with two technical fouls, and Letran co-captain Mark Cruz, who charged into Borbe and engaged him into a heated verbal tussle right after the game.

Of course, the NCAA did not tolerate such unsportsmanlike acts and slapped the two a one-game suspension and sternly warned four others–Letran’s Kevin Racal, Rey Publico, Jamil Gabawan and Rey Nambatac. Cristobal also didn’t let Borbe, who admitted he used profane languages against Cruz, stay unpunished as he too was slapped a suspension, a severer three-game ban that could get longer if Cristobal and the league finds him unfit for a return.
And then came this, shall we say, fantard, who decided he’d seen enough and threw this crumpled paper to Borbe as the latter was going out the playing court and into the commissioner’s office. Borbe should easily identify our mystery dude.
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: We’re not siding with anyone here. Letran is a frustrated team after dropping three of its first four games. This is uncharacteristic of a former two-time losing finalist. So you would understand why Garcia, Cruz, Racal, Publico, Gabawan and Nambatac and our mystery man were furious, maybe livid. These are products of raw emotions caused by basketball. But instead of griping over a certain ref being biased against them since last year, Garcia should focus on righting the ship, which is fast sinking if they don’t watch out. For Cruz, I would advice him to keep his cool. Racal and the rest of the Knights too. They are too vital to get embroiled by these useless intramurals. And it’s not too late. For Borbe, he has paid the price having received the severest of all punishments so let the poor fellow go. As for our mystery man, a simple sorry will do. After all, to err is human, to forgive divine.
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar


(Photos courtesy of Dante Peralta of




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