MANILA, February 1, 2005 
(STAR) By Nelson Beltran  -  Forfeiture of Talk n Textís victory in favor of Ginebra San Miguel in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup title playoff appeared inevitable even as PBA commissioner Noli Eala gave the PLDT franchise the opportunity to respond on the Gin Kingsí protest on the Palsí fielding of suspended player Asi Taulava Sunday.

"Hopefully, Talk n Text responds right away so we can make the decision before Game Two," said Eala after getting the formal protest plus the accompanying bond of P20,000 from Ginebra team manager Allan Caidic yesterday.

"The issue here is whether Taulava was eligible or ineligible for Sundayís game. In our book, heís not. But we donít know whatís Talk n Textís contention," Eala said.

Taulava returned to action in open defiance of his continued suspension in the league Sunday as the Phone Pals blasted the Kings, 89-71, in the opener of their best-of-seven title showdown. The Kings immediately placed the game under protest.

With the Taulava case getting uglier by the day, the league board of governors is holding another emergency meeting at noon today to try to defuse the searing situation.

"This is one way to find a solution to the problem. And we also want to be sure that everybody knows the procedure in this matter," Eala said.

Earlier in the day, Eala and PBA legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza attended the hearing on their motion for consideration at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court which issued a writ of preliminary injunction, directing the PBA commissioner and officials to set aside or recall the leagueís suspension order on Taulava.

This writ was used by Talk n Text as the basis for allowing Taulava to return to action in the PBA Sunday.

PBA board chairman Buddy Encarnado said they now face a different issue as the league didnít defy the court order and it was Talk n Text which defied league rules in fielding in ineligible player.

Encarnado stressed Talk n Text was a party as the league promulgated these rules.

"Talk n Textís interest should be with the league because it was party in setting our rules," said Eala.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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