Two sides of the coin in Wilkerson episode

Updated 28 April 2016

Two sides of the coin in Wilkerson episode

AN HOUR or so before Game 3 of its Final Four series with Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Thursday night, San Miguel Beer did the right thing and let Tyler Wilkerson go.
Wilkerson, who would have been a shoo-in to win Best Import honors if the Beermen were to at least make the championship series, walked out of the team dugout on Tuesday night after a 98-96 Game 2 loss that put San Miguel in a 0-2 hole.
On the way out, the braided-haired former Marshall University standout was heard yelling: “Take me back to America,” apparently, after having a run-in with coach Leo Austria and members of management after the heart-breaking loss.
There are two sides of the coin here, from where this corner looks at it.
The first is that San Miguel management did what is absolutely right and discarded Wilkerson, never mind if he could be the key for the Beermen to come back from this deficit and go all the way to keep its Grand Slam bid alive.
No player is bigger than management, or the team that employs him. And no player, no matter how good he is, can just inflict disharmony in the team because he wants to throw a fit.
Wilkerson will go down in the annals of the league as one of the finest imports in modern time. He could do it all — score, rebound, pass and defend. The problem is, if you’re not a team player, then there’s no use having him here.
What the PBA needs are imports who respect the game more than anything else, because if a person has that, he’ll have no problems working with the team and everyone around it.
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The second side is San Miguel lost a true fighter in the man.
Wilkerson is obviously so enamored with winning that he — according to team insiders — wound up in a shouting match with coach Leo Austria inside the dugout after the defeat because Austria, reportedly, singled him out as to why the Beermen lost Game 2.
The import wants to win so bad that he risked being banned from the league by confronting Austria and, later on also according to reports, several members of San Miguel’s management team.
If true, the problem here is that the issue wasn’t handled well to begin with.
Austria could have thought deep in his heart the Wilkerson caused the defeat, but he could have gone on to have a different approach and talked to his import in a different way.
Everyone has tantrums, everyone has problems, but if one manages to massage egos the right way, things can be sorted out.
It is not alien for Austria to single out players every time he loses. In a 98-94 Game 1 loss, Austria went public and said that Marcio Lassiter was the missing link and “took too many bad shots.”
What if Lassiter tries to throw in fits himself, especially after another forgettable Game 2 that had his three-pointer for the win being ruled as having come after the buzzer?
Great coaches can take ballooning egos and make them work as one without disrupting team chemistry.
We’ve all heard of head cases in the past, most notable among them being the great Billy Ray Bates of Crispa, which he helped to a second Grand Slam in 1983 under Tommy Manotoc.
Bates had run-ins with everyone in the team — even with the law — during that glorious year for the Redmanizers, but no one saw it spill to the floor with Bates and the team all business when game time came.
But win or lose, Manotoc and management never talked about Bates being this and being that. Manotoc played Bates well and maximized his talent to the fullest and made Crispa practically unbeatable that year.
In short, Manotoc handled Bates’ ego well and this saved the team from imploding, for after all, Manotoc had more than a handful of stars at Crispa who wouldn’t take crap from anyone, most especially an import.
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Should San Miguel go and lose this series to the Painters, the Beermen would have imparted the best message it could get out of it all.
But San Miguel should also look at how it handles things internally, because people who know their basketball will not believe it when Austria says that it is Wilkerson who lost Game 2.
San Miguel was down practically the entire night, and if Wilkerson was indeed insubordinate as what reports are saying, then Austria could have benched him and not let him play for almost 47 minutes.
Austria has a lineup so star-studded that it can withstand any import in the league. Sure, San Miguel could still have lost that game, but if Austria had handled it well and put Wilkerson in his proper place because “he wasn’t following game plan,” then all of this wouldn’t have happened.
It certainly would have made Wilkerson think things through.


VAR denies Manchester City again in latest wild Premier League match with Tottenham

Updated 17 August 2019

VAR denies Manchester City again in latest wild Premier League match with Tottenham

  • Gabriel Jesus thought he scored the winner in the second minute of injury time
  • VAR — new to the league this season — ruled the ball reached Jesus off the arm of Aymeric Laporte

LONDON: Four months later, Manchester City was denied another crucial late goal against Tottenham by an intervention from the video assistant referee.
Gabriel Jesus thought he scored the winner in the second minute of injury time in a wild English Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when he curled home a finish after the ball landed at his feet following a corner. The Brazil striker waved and danced in front of City’s jubilant fans, unaware the on-field referee had been told the goal was under review.
VAR — new to the league this season — ruled the ball reached Jesus off the arm of Aymeric Laporte as the City defender stretched to head it. Newly implemented rules say a foul should be awarded if a goal is scored from an accidental handball.
The goal was disallowed, much to the anger of Jesus and City’s frustrated fans, and the match finished 2-2. The final whistle was greeted with loud boos inside the stadium as the English champions dropped points in the second match of their title defense.
Back in April, almost the exact same thing happened to City when Spurs visited for a Champions League match. On that occasion, Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR in the third minute of injury time, denying City a place in the semifinals.
City manager Pep Guardiola didn’t drop to his knees and look as crestfallen like he did in April. Instead he engaged in conversation with Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino in the technical area as confusion reigned around him.
“I thought we left that situation against Tottenham in the Champions League last season. But it is the same,” Guardiola said. “The referee and VAR disallow it. It’s the second time, it’s tough. It’s honestly tough.”
Guardiola will wonder how his team didn’t win.
Twice taking the lead in the first half, through Sterling and then Sergio Aguero, City was twice pegged back by Tottenham, first by Erik Lamela and then by Lucas Moura 14 seconds after he entered the field as a substitute.
The diminutive Brazil winger ran straight toward the penalty area to line up for his team’s corner and rose highest — somewhat improbably — to send a glancing header looping into the net in the 56th.
Aguero was substituted soon after that goal and exchanged some strong words on the sideline with Guardiola as he sat down. The pair was seen embracing near the end of the match, however, suggesting they patched up their differences.
The result leaves City two points behind Liverpool, the team expected again to be its biggest rival for the title.
Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 earlier.
ADRIAN’S CRAZY WEEK
In the space of nine days, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian has made his Liverpool debut as an injury substitute, saved the decisive penalty to win the club the UEFA Super Cup, got injured by a pitch-invading fan, and made an embarrassing error in a Premier League game.
To say it has been a roller-coaster start to life at Anfield would be an understatement.
Adrian, an offseason signing filling in for the injured Alisson Becker, was a doubt for Liverpool’s match at Southampton after a fan slid into the goalkeeper’s ankle while the team celebrated his crucial penalty stop in a shootout win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. He was declared fit on the morning of the match and made some good saves before Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino put Liverpool 2-0 up at St. Mary’s.
Adrian ensured there was a nervy finish when he kicked a clearance straight at Southampton striker Danny Ings and saw the ball rebound into the net in the 83rd.
Liverpool hung on, though, for a second straight win after beating Norwich.
PUKKI PEAKING
Teemu Pukki scored a division-high 29 goals to proper Norwich to the second-tier League Championship title last season.
He cannot stop scoring in the Premier League, either.
After his consolation goal at Anfield on the opening weekend, the Finland striker added another three in dismantling sorry Newcastle as top-flight soccer returned to Carrow Road.
“The guys are creating chances — I could have scored more,” Pukki said.
Newcastle has lost both of its opening games under new manager Steve Bruce.
AUBAMEYANG AGAIN
Another striker to have started the season strongly is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has grabbed winning goals in each of Arsenal’s first two games.
A week after scoring the only goal at Newcastle, Aubameyang led Arsenal to a 2-1 win over Burnley with a shot inside the near post from the edge of the area. He was tied as the top scorer last season with Liverpool attackers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
The standout player for Arsenal, though, was Dani Ceballos, who is on a season-long loan from Real Madrid. He set up both goals — the first was scored by Alexandre Lacazette — and showed the touch and vision Arsenal has been missing since the departure of another Spanish playmaker, Santi Cazorla.
WINS FOR EVERTON, BOURNEMOUTH
Everton and Bournemouth got their first wins after opening the season with draws.
Brazilian winger Bernard scored in the first half to secure a 1-0 victory for Everton against Watford, while Bournemouth built on a second-minute penalty from Josh King and beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Jack Grealish, the Villa captain, has lost a record 20 straight Premier League games, stretching back to when the team was last in the top flight in 2015-16.
Brighton and West Ham drew 1-1 in the other match.