MANILA, Philippines - The AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League sacked and fined five players involved in the "basket-brawl" between the AirAsia Philippine Patriots and San Miguel Beermen at The Arena in San Juan over the weekend.
In a statement, the league suspended Patriots import Anthony Johnson and locals Erick Rodriguez and Ardy Larong and Beermen Aries Dimaunahan and Jun-jun Cabatu for one game and slapped them with an undisclosed amount for their actions during the highly physical contest won by SMB, 68-66.
The whole Patriots team was also fined for clearing the bench during the incident.
The ruckus started when Dimaunahan gave a driving Johnson a clothesline for a foul, and the Patriots reinforcement reacted by trying to put the Filipino guard in a "guillotine choke." All hell broke loose from there.
The ABL said Johnson and Rodriguez were canned for "fighting and violent behavior for their part in the altercation. Larong, for his part, was penalized for "continuance of unsportsmanlike behavior after receiving an unsportsmanlike foul in an unrelated incident during the third quarter of the said game."
The league said it sacked Dimaunahan for "committing the flagrant foul which sparked the altercation" and Cabatu for "unsportsmanlike behavior for his part in the brawl."
The Beermen got the better of the Patriots in that heated battle and the Patriots also emerged the bigger loser in the offshoot of the brawl, losing the services of their top gunner Johnson (23.56 pgg) and two locals in their next game.
"Malaking kawalan sila ng team syempre, especially Johnson because he's the leading scorer of our team (We have big holes to fill in especially since Johnson is our team's leading scorer)," Patriots' coach Glenn Capacio said in a text message to The STAR.
The other reinforcement of the team, Nakiea Miller was also fined an undisclosed amount for making “disparaging remarks on his Twitter account about another team.”
"A list of offenses and the penalties they incur have already been sent out to each of the teams participating in the league, including a note that teams will have up to 24 hours upon receiving their notifications to appeal the league's decision. As such the players' suspensions will be served after this weekend's round of games," the ABL said.