The Last Two Minutes

On paper, a game of basketball officiated by the National Basketball Association (NBA) lasts 48 minutes, or around 12 minutes per quarter. But in reality, an average NBA game can last for more than 2 hours due to timeouts, out-of-bounds balls, and fouls. This is further extended when overtime is factored in.

This “time stretch” is most felt in the final two minutes of the game. That two minutes seemingly stretch forever as teams get called out for fouls, timeouts, and to re-strategize. This period is so crucial that the NBA has issued “Last Two Minutes” reports since 2015, so that referee decisions can be reviewed.

The final week of the campaign period is akin to the Last Two Minutes of an NBA game. Even though time is running out, it feels as if time is stretching forever. Some voters– particularly those supporting candidate Leni Robredo- have reported feeling immense anxiety as they count down the remaining days.

The stakes are particularly close because only two scenarios seem to be possible. On one hand, candidate Marcos Jr. may become the first majority President of the 5th Republic. This appears to be supported by recently-released opinion surveys by Pulse Asia and OCTA, which have Marcos Jr. winning 56-23 or 58-25 over Robredo.

On the other hand, kakampinks are holding out for a near-miraculous Robredo win on May 9. This would rely on the estimated 20% of Marcos Jr. soft supporters suddenly deciding to abandon him in favor of Robredo. In favor of such a possibility, kakampinks cite the massive turnout in Robredo’s rallies, as well as ground reports of their House-to-House campaigns. Apparently, even seemingly solid Marcos Jr. supporters were open to voting for Robredo, or another non-Marcos candidate.

Is such an event possible? While I believe that surveys have a track record of predicting winners, I also believe that politics is the art of the possible. While a sudden collapse by the Marcos Jr. camp is seemingly improbable, it is not impossible. To use a term from cockfighting: it is crazy to bet on the ‘dehado’ rooster, but the payoff is much bigger.

With that being said, the buzzer always rings, and the cockfight always ends with a rooster on the ground.

My advice?

Vote for whomever you think is best- not whoever is most popular- and be prepared for whatever the result.

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