The Fix

Mark Yee’s disgusting defensive ‘technique’ nothing new in Pinoy hoops

Mark Yee's hand got caught in Anthony Grundy's cookie jar. Screen capture by Carlo Ricohermoso.

In game 1 of the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup finals between Talk ‘N Text and Petron Blaze last night, Tropang Texters defensive stopper Mark Yee was caught by the camera — twice — “defending” Boosters import Anthony Grundy by sticking his fingers where the sun doesn’t shine.

And while we have to give some props for Yee’s effort — talk about doing anything to keep your opponent from scoring — it was, frankly, disgusting.

But it’s nothing new in the crazy world of Philippine basketball. In fact, this practice has been documented by Rafe Bartholomew in his seminal book about Pinoy hoops, Pacific Rims.

Ed Cordero, a former PBA player who currently serves as assistant coach at San Beda, gave Rafe the, uh, lowdown on the technique:

[According to Cordero], if you really wanted to mess with an import’s head, you had to get homoerotic: “When I was playing, we noticed that imports would be very icky when you touched their butts. Here in the Philippines, you can be with some gay guy, but it doesn’t mean you’re gay. My impression is, in the States, people think if you’re friends with some gay guy then you must be gay too. So the fact that you hold the import’s butt, they would think you’re gay. And you don’t just touch them, you touch the center part.”

Cordero broke into a joyous cackle while outlining the contours of an imaginary ass with his hands, then stroking the middle with two fingers. Once Cordero had violated an import in this manner, the freaked foreigner would usually settle for outside shots rather than drive to the rim and face Cordero’s wandering hands.

You can listen to the interview in Cordero’s own words in this clip posted by Bartholomew on his blog:

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