Coach Alvin Pua of Cagayan-Gerry’s Grill was defiant after he was banned for life and levied a P500,000 fine for assaulting a referee during his team’s game against Livermarin Guardians in the PBA D-League last Thursday.
Summoned to appear before PBA commissioner Chito Salud whose office supervises the D-League, Pua declined the invitation, but Salud nevertheless handed down the decision without having to hear the side of the coach whose team manager, Fred Collado, was also fined P20,000 for saying Pua’s action was “justified.”
Pua lost his composure following a series of calls made by referee Benjamin Montero which the coach deemed unfavorable to his team although Cagayan won the game, 106-94.
Montero was rushed to the hospital after the assault.
“There is plainly no room for hotheads and hooligans in basketball, let alone other sports. Mauling a game official can never be justified in any way,” said Salud.
“In the highest interest of sportsmanship and the norms of human decency, the league is hereby imposing a lifetime ban on coach Pua from all PBA related activities for mauling a referee and his recalcitrant and incorrigible demeanor,” he added.
The commissioner added that the PBA is ready to assist Montero in any civil or criminal action that he may take against Pua following the injuries that he sustained in the assault.
Cagayan (5-3) will still be allowed to finish the tournament. It will play Cebuana Lhuillier on May 25.
Whether Collado will be there is not yet known.
But the team manager let out a rant and said Cagayan will no longer play in the D-League and move over to another organized by former PBA coach Joe Lipa.
“Kung ganyan lang din lang ang officiating, mabuti pang umalis nalang kami. Kung hindi ka na masaya, bakit mag-ii-stay ka pa?” Collado asked.
He too remained defiant as he defended his head coach’s action even after the meeting with the commissioner.
“Siyempre, kahit sino naman bastusin eh, ganun talaga. Human instinct yun eh.”
Right now, the Rising Suns sit at third place in the tournament with a 5-3 record. They’ll be taking on longtime rivals Cebuana Lhuillier Gems on May 25 for their final game in the elimination round.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, meanwhile, said that although he finds nothing commendable in what Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua did, he nonetheless admits not being that too far removed from similarly crossing the line.
Pua faces stiff sanction, even a lifetime ban, in the PBA D-League for punching referee Ben Montero in the second quarter of the game between Cagayan and Livermarin last Thursday, triggering a firestorm in the social media demanding Pua’s banishment.
“I’ve been tempted (to hit a referee) but so far I’ve held my temper,” said the heavily-sanctioned Guiao, with the bulk of his more than a million-peso career fines coming from technicals, instigating a partial walkout, his penchant for flashing a finger and his abundant use of colorful language.
He did have one memorable sideline run-in with Dondon Hontiveros, staredowns with imports, including Talk ‘N Text’s Ivan Johnson, who knocked Guiao over from behind during the previous Commissioner’s Cup, and countless verbal skirmishes with fellow coaches, players and game and league officials, but he never as much as laid a hand on a referee.
“Pag sobra na frustration mo, sometimes nakaka-relate ka na rin, but it doesn’t mean na tama siya (Pua),” said Guiao. “Whatever the circumstances, it doesn’t make it right.”