|Coach Yeng Guiao and members of the Rain or Shine coaching staff emerging from the dugout in Game 6 of the Philippine Cup title series. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has slapped on Rain or Shine (ROS) the biggest fine in the league's 39-year history for their partial walkout in Game 6 of the recent Philippine Cup Finals.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud announced a P2-million penalty after a meeting with Rain or Shine team owners and head coach Yeng Guiao.
“Deeply regrettable as it is, the ROS walkout is hereby penalized the sum of 2 million pesos (Php 2,000,000.00) for subverting public interest and the integrity of the game,” said Salud in a statement.
“This is a case of a partial walkout which under the rules is defined as the whole team leaving the playing court and returning to continue to play within the allotted time.”
It was Guiao who ordered his team to walk out during the second quarter of the match, accusing referees of making one-sided calls in favor of their opponent and eventual Philippine Cup champion San Mig Coffee.
Salud was able to persuade the team to return to the hard court where they were eventually beaten by the Coffee Mixers to clinch the championship.
Salud said Rain or Shine's action "subverted public interest as well as the integrity of the game."
“Public interest dictates that walkouts can never be condoned – whether in a finals game or not. A walkout represents a total disregard of the principles and values we want our players and teams to zealously uphold: sportsmanship and the tenet that public and fan interest is paramount,” he said.
The previous biggest fine for a walkout was P1 million on Talk ‘N Text in 2010.
The penalties have since been increased to P2 million for a partial walkout and P10 million for a full walkout.
Salud said the fines collected will go straight to the PBA players' trust fund. – With a report from ANC