MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Salud announced that while "tough play" is allowed, "rough play" will not be tolerated in the ongoing playoffs of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Salud made his announcement on Monday following complaints regarding the officiating in the semi-finals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
"The referees will allow physicality only within the parameters that had been clearly defined and explained to the teams," Salud said in a statement posted on the league's website.
"Tough play is allowed, but not rough play... Certainly, hooliganism and cheap shots have no place in the league," he added.
Salud warned teams that he is "listening and watching" closely, but maintained that the players and coaches should already know how to deal with the physicality of games from a mental standpoint.
"Physicality is allowed for as long as it is incidental contact. Once the line is crossed and there is danger or harm to the player, then the referees will move in," Salud said.
Talk 'N Text head coach Chot Reyes has complained about the level of physicality in the Tropang Texters' best-of-five semifinals series against the Barako Bull Energy.
Reyes said the Texters will need "self-defense" especially against Barako's Ronald Tubid and Wynne Arboleda, believing that the Barako players are "hell-bent on decimating our line-up."
The Texters trail the series 1-2 and will try to stay alive in tonight's Game Four. Reyes hopes his veteran point guard Jimmy Alapag will show more composure this time, after he was ejected in Game Three.
"Jimmy allowed (Tubid) to get under his skin and paid the price," Reyes said.
"What I can't understand is why it's only us that gets bloodied every game," he added. "I don't know how much more I can push my players when games are career-threatening, something the other team is not worried about."
Reyes said that because of the physicality of their series, he may need to set up a "trauma center" at their bench in order to deal with the blood.
Even with Reyes's statements, Barako head coach Junel Baculi is expecting an even more physical contest in Game Four.
"Basketball is a contact game, that's why it's exciting to watch," he said.
According to PBA.ph, five flagrant fouls and five technical fouls on second motion have been called in the semi-finals.
Alapag and teammate Jarred Dillinger have been ejected from games.