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PBA DL: Coach punches ref

Games Monday (San Juan Arena)
10 a.m. – Jumbo Plastic vs Café France
12 nn. – Hapee vs Cebuana Lhuillier

Manila, Philippines – Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua punched a game official on Monday spoiling his team’s 106-94 victory against Liver Marin in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Arena.

The Rising Suns broke the game apart in the third quarter then held off a late charge by the Guardians to seal their fifth win in eight games that secured their spot in the quarterfinals of the league’s season-ending tournament.

Don Trollano tallied 17 points off the bench. Five other Rising Suns scored in double figures.

Their effort, though, was overshadowed by Pua’s outburst.

“It was just a misunderstanding,” said Cagayan Valley team consultant Francis Rodriguez, adding the Rising Suns are still hard-pressed to win their last game against Cebuana Lhuillier on May 25 to earn them a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters.

A call that went against his team apparently triggered the incident that took place with 1:39 left in the second quarter and the Rising Suns ahead, 47-41.

During a time out, a raging Pua walked toward the game officials – who at the time were huddling at the sideline near the timer’s table – and punched referee Benjie Montero in the face and body. The stunned game official did not retaliate.

Pua’s fellow team officials and Liver Marin assistant coach Banjo Calpito quickly interceded to prevent the incident from escalating.

This is not the first time Pua manhandled a game official.

The Cagayan Valley coach, who was ejected from the game, also faces heavy penalty from the PBA Commissioner’s Office.

Jovit De la Cruz scored 19 points, Bradwyn Guinto had 16 and Nicole Bangga added 13 for the last placed Guardians, who lost their fourth straight and seventh overall in eight games.

CAGAYAN VALLEY 106 – Trollano 17, Mabulac 16, Galliguez 15, Dilay 13, Melano 13, Celada 12, Magat 6, Rogado 5, Austria 4, Flores 4, Tayongtong 1, Salamat 0, Santos 0.

LIVER MARIN 94 – Dela Cruz 19, Guinto 16, Bangga 13, Ignacio 12, Balucanag 9, Ortuoste 8, Fabian 7, Santos 5, Costelo 3, De Vera 2, Calisaan 0, Laude 0, Marcus 0.

Quarters: 30-20; 47-44; 79-65; 106-94.