by Jonas Terrado
Games Sunday (Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs Rain or Shine
6:45 p.m. – Phoenix Pulse vs TNT KaTropa
Phoenix Pulse and Blackwater face separate teams in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, two days after their game was marred by an exchange between Calvin Abueva and the girlfriend of rookie Ray Parks Jr.
The Fuel Masters take on TNT KaTropa at 6:45 p.m. after the Elite face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the curtainraiser set at 4:30 p.m.
Both teams look to focus solely on trying to win their matches after the incident which saw Abueva doing an indecent gesture at Parks’ girlfriend, actress Maika Rivera.
Commissioner Willie Marcial is scheduled to summon Abueva, who claimed that Rivera hurled unpleasant words at him during the contest which Phoenix winning 103-98 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Abueva, who is known as “The Beast” has been penalized and criticized for his absurd behavior – flashing dirty finger several times during their semis duel with the San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup.
Team governor Raymond Zorilla said Phoenix will conduct its own probe but expressed regret over the incident.
“It’s a really hard and delicate incident where a fan, supporter and lady all rolled into one is alleged to have been maligned. A regrettable incident,” said Zorilla.
As preventive measure, Phoenix management yesterday fined the controversial player P20,000.
In a statement, team manager Paolo Bugia said Abueva should have exercised prudence under such circumstances.
Phoenix aims to get win No. 2 against a TNT side reeling from a disappointing 110-86 loss to NorthPort last Wednesday where import Terrence Jones was held to 17 points after back-to-back games of 40.
Abueva, import Rob Dozier, Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins aim to improve the Fuel Masters’ showing after they almost squander a 19-point lead.
Blackwater, on the other hand, is aching to get back on track after losing for the first time since starting the conference with three straight victories.
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