MANILA, Philippines - The PBA Commissioner’s Office will probe the reported fracas that marred the Petron Blaze-Alaska Milk finale of the 2013 Sinulog Cup in Cebu Saturday night.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud was still abroad at press time but media bureau chief Willie Marcial said he’s sure the league chieftain will investigate the matter and impose sanctions on individuals involved if necessary.
“Though it happened during the league break, I think commissioner Salud would want to know what exactly happened,” Marcial told The STAR.
The Boosters underscored their readiness for the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup, ruling the Sinulog Cup via a three-game sweep capped by their 100-93 win over the Aces Saturday.
It was an intense, physical match marred by a bench-clearing melee in the second quarter reportedly triggered by Petron import Renaldo Balkman’s invectives at the entire Alaska team.
“Everything was part of the game. It just nearly went out of control when Balkman told us ‘f—k’ all of you.’ Then both teams were in the middle of the court in a bench-clearing confrontation,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
Trillo said the match also saw Ronald Tubid, Denok Miranda and Jay Washington hit Calvin Abueva.
“It appeared to be their game plan, trying to get Calvin out of focus. Nawala nga si Calvin dahil naasar. But it’s part of the game. Tingin ko nga kulang pa yung physicality,” said Trillo.
The youthful Alaska mentor was impressed with Petron’s showing in the Sinulog Cup, saying the Boosters are a team to watch in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup beginning Feb. 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Petron is tough right now. They’re look ready for a good showing in the second conference,” said Trillo.
“It looks like Petron coach Olsen (Racela) has instilled his system on his team. They’re running well. They seem to have jelled with one another already,” Trillo added.
Trillo said his team is still working to get in shape. “Nandoon naman, pero di pa kundisyon,” he said.
Barangay Ginebra also took part in the Sinulog Cup, finishing third behind Petron and Alaska Milk. The other team that competed in the short invitationals was host team M. Lhuillier.