Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 89
Star Hotshots 91

Santos denies flopping ala Pennisi, insists Smith hit him above shoulder


Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals series between San Miguel and TNT has certainly produced memorable moments that don’t involve shooting the leather ball through the steel hoop.

There was the tunnel altercation in Game 3, Roger Pogoy’s hit on Arwind Santos’ family jewels, and KaTropa import Joshua Smith’s verbal jabs against Gabby Espinas.

In Game 3, Santos got everyone’s attention again.

In the 8:24 mark of the fourth, Santos challenged Smith’s shot underneath the basket, and instead of hitting the ball, the one-time MVP hit the big man smack in the face.

A couple of seconds later, Smith was standing over a lying down Santos.

Video replays showed Smith gave a Santos a little nudge and Santos tried to made it look like a legitimate blow.

“That wasn’t a flop, there really was contact,” said Santos Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “All I’m saying is, in those kinds of situations the referees should call a foul because the hit was above the shoulders. There was contact, it scratched me, and so I [exaggerated] it.”

Santos’ actions, though, evoked memories of a certain iconic flop that happened in a game in 2012 that he was actually part of.

During the match between Santos’ Petron and Barako Bull, Blaze Boosters’ import Will McDonald threw the ball at Energy big man Mick Pennisi.

What ensued was the most iconic flop in PBA history as Pennisi dropped to the floor in writhing pain five seconds after the leather hit his face.

Santos, though, would defend his actions saying it wasn’t the same as Pennisi’s.

“That wasn’t the same as what Mick did, that was just awkward,” said Santos. “What happened to me was, I saw a punch coming so I tried to sell it and it would be a big thing if he [Smith] got ejected.”

Unfortunately for Santos, Smith stayed until the end as TNT won Game 4 102-97 and tie the series at 2-2.

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