Alaska's Cyrus Baguio and Meralco's Paul Artadi has to be broken up after an altercation, both players received technical fouls. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud wants players to remember their roles as idols to Filipino youth following a spate of flagrant and unsportsmanlike fouls committed during games.
Recently, Alaska’s Gabby Espinas was fined P20,000 for committing a flagrant foul on Meralco’s Cliff Hodge during a game between the Aces and the Bolts.
There have also been several instances of hard fouls and near altercations during games, prompting Salud to issue his reminder to players during an interview with PBA.ph.
“As I’ve always emphasized to the players – you are role models,” said the Commissioner. “You cannot be violent oncourt. You cannot cross the line of unsportsmanlike behavior because our fans, particularly the kids, are looking up to you.”
“That is not correct basketball,” he stressed.
Salud said they allow tough defense and physicality “but only to a certain extent.”
“You cannot cross the boundaries of flagrant fouls and unsportsmanlike behavior,” he stressed.
Salud has summoned the players who were accused of committing flagrant and unsportsmanlike fouls, and the commissioner said the players admitted to crossing the line.
“Each of those players would respond differently,” he added. "They will play their best.”
“Some take time to get back to form, but in the whole, they do realize that they have that role of being models to the youth, and they have the responsibility to always play in their best,” Salud added.
Salud also assured PBA fans that the referees employed by the league are “trained and oriented to be competent, consistent and fair,” as complaints regarding officiating continued into the playoffs.
“They (referees) are trained to implement the announced guidelines of this league with respect to the kind of play that we allow,” Salud explained. “Anytime that they do not observe the parameters of the officiating that we have imposed and announced, they get sanctions.”
“And I am going to say this clearly – their sanctions are heavier than the sanctions that I mete out to the players,” he revealed.