MANILA, Philippines – PBA Commissioner Chito Salud decided not to sanction Alaska players Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas after the two Aces were caught playing in a small league in Sta. Ana, Bulacan without their team’s permission.
In an interview with Spin.ph, Salud said he only gave a warning to Abueva and Espinas.
“I called them up and I basically told them na di naman natin sinisikipan ang mundo nila. But I reminded them of their commitment to their mother club, the fans and the PBA in general,” Salud told Richard Dy of Spin.ph.
Abueva and Espinas both apologized to Salud for their actions in separate statements. The rookie Abueva also explained that he was invited by a cousin to participate in the Bulacan league as a guest player.
“Sa aking pagkakaalam, pwede pong maglaro sa maliliit na liga pag off-season. Ngunit ngayon po ay alam ko na na hindi pwede, at pinapangako ko po na hindi na mauulit ang ganitong pangyayari,” said Abueva.
In a statement posted on the league website, Salud reminded all PBA players that they have to ask permission from their teams if they want to play in small leagues during the off-season.
"Ipinapaalala lamang po sa lahat ng ating mga manlalaro sa PBA na kailangan nilang humingi ng permiso sa kanilang mga mother teams kung sila ay may paanyayang maglaro sa mga liga sa labas ng PBA habang offseason," he said.
Salud said this was required of players in order to prevent them from suffering injuries.
“Hindi po pinagbabawalan ang ating mga manlalaro na lumingon sa kanilang mga pinaggalingan, lalo na’t tumanaw ng utang na loob o magpakita ng pakikisama,” Salud said.
“Ang kailangan lamang po ay magpaalam sa kanilang mga mother teams, dahil sila ay mga professional players na may responsibilidad sa liga at sa kanilang mga fans,” he added.