MANILA, Philippines – Officials of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) denied that PBA games in the country are becoming violent.
The officials were present during a Senate games and amusement committee hearing on Tuesday, which was prompted by sports analysts' observations that PBA games are getting "rough and dirty" nowadays.
GAB chairman Ramon Guanzon said there's nothing wrong with players being rough because it's part of the game.
He noted, however, that there's a fine line between roughness and being dirty in playing.
"When you are a dirty player, you try to hurt deliberately," Guanzon told the committee. "I don't think roughness can be prohibited, but dirty play should be prohibited."
GAB commissioner Matthew Gaston added that although the games are more "physical" today than before it is because the players are physically stronger, but they are not necessarily dirty.
He said the PBA observes its rules strictly.
"I would say that the PBA is not remiss in reviewing its rules and making sure there's no physical danger to the players," Gaston said.
Melvin Mendoza, PBA's legal counsel, said brawls during basketball games reported in the news are mostly isolated incidents. "Nothing like that has happened in so many years," he said.
Senate games and amusement committee chairman Aquilino Pimentel III explained that he called for the hearing because he's concerned about the effects of physical violence on the careers of basketball players. He also asked sports officials whether there is a need to review the PBA's rules.
The officials believe that there's no need for it.
"Aside from the official rules, the players have their own contracts with their teams, and they're also governed by the terms of the PBA constitution and bylaws. Lahat ng kanilang behavior, on and off court, are governed by this set of rules," Mendoza said.