After a two-hour delay and two game stoppages, the game between Barangay Ginebra and Alaska in Legazpi City Saturday evening was stopped after game officials deemed the slippery Albay Astrodome hardcourt unplayable.
Tip-off went on as scheduled at 5 p.m., but was halted after only 41 seconds of play with players slipping and sliding on both ends of the parquet floor.
The Kings and the Aces were sent back to the locker rooms while PBA personnel, local organizers and even Legazpi City mayor Noel Rosal poured softdrinks on the floor, dried it and then even applied sandpaper in efforts to make the hardcourt playable.
Almost two hours later, the two teams were called back. This time the two teams regaled the capacity crowd a little longer. But with the players again falling one after the other, crew chief referee Boy Cruz finally ruled the court unplayable and stopped the game with Ginebra up 9-2 and 8:04 still to play in the first period.
“The crowd saw we exhausted all efforts to remedy the situation and make the court playable. In fact even Mayor Rosal helped us,” said PBA operations and technical director Rickie Santos. “But the moisture just kept coming back and rather than risk injury to the players, the game officials ordered the cancellation of the game.”
After the decision, there was a suggestion to play the game early Sunday afternoon, but with no assurance that the hardcourt would be in much better condition, the suggestion was thumbed down in the end.
Although no official announcement has been made, the Ginebra-Alaska game will most probably be scheduled on Friday, May 22, as half of a doubleheader that will also feature the cancelled game between San Miguel and Coca-Cola originally slated in Dubai.