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Abueva decision encourages hooliganism

To some people, Alaska’s Calvin Abueva makes the PBA exciting. That is if you like dirty play and you like a player punching another player for no reason at all.

Abueva hit Rain or Shine’s Jonathan Uyloan in the stomach as they bounded down court last Thursday, sending the Elasto Painter grimacing on the floor.

Abueva was ejected, slapped with a Flagrant 2 foul and walked to his bench, smirking and smiling and perhaps thinking he should have hit Uyloan harder.

There was no expression of remorse or feeling sorry at all for what he just did. Why he did it no one knows. There was no previous altercation, no body contact no trash talk. He probably just felt like doing it, maybe because an unknown spirit moved him. Or, even if there was an altercation, a punch is hardly the right response.

What followed the day after, however, was more bizarre.

PBA commissioner Chito Salud slapped him with a P20,000 fine for the transgression and perhaps, after the conclusion of their meeting, wished the guy good luck in his next game.

Wow, P20,000 fine for punching another player. Heck, Yeng Guiao is fined more than that by saying officiating sucks.

Compare Salud’s action to that of the NBA. On Christmas day, in a game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks, a scuffle broke out between the Wizards’ John Wall and the Knicks’ Quincy Acy.

Acy shoved Wall and Wall retaliated and Acy retaliated. Acy was ejected, Wall got a technical. You know what the NBA did? Acy was suspended one game for the kind of infraction that happens in nearly every PBA game. Wall was fined $15,000.

It is the kind of lenient treatment accorded Abueva that makes the PBA and NBA worlds apart. It is also the reason why the Abuevas of the PBA continue to peddle their brand of lunacy that makes the league look like a cheap tournament and the PBA commissioner an inconsistent disciplinarian.

This is the playoffs, the commissioner intoned. He said he can’t allow one team to lose a player for an important game. Well, in that case, Rain or Shine and Alaska players had just been given the go-signal to proceed with their “stupid move,” the term used by Guiao to describe Abueva’s moment of insanity.

They now can hit, trip or mangle each other and feel safe with the thought it’s a mere fine waiting for them.

Remember the time when the Phoenix Suns’ line up was almost decimated in the course of the NBA playoffs because some players were suspended? They were suspended for entering the court not for joining the scuffle. (May 15, 2007)

That doesn’t ring a bell of course to Salud whose recent actions and inactions have made the commissioner’s office a, shall we say, laughing stock.

Just two instances: The “magic hand” that selected the Number 1 pick that went to Globalport during the PBA draft and, more recently, the silent treatment on Talk ‘N Text’s Coach Jong Uichico who branded officiating biased and unfair.

If the commissioner can suspend and fine players in innocuous occasions such as pre-season and exhibition games, the more he should use an iron fist during playoffs.

As they say, it may be unfair, but it’s correct.

You commit a very flagrant and unsportsmanlike foul, you and your team suffer the consequences. That’s the rule.