MANILA, Philippines -- Magnolia assistant coach Johnny Abarrientos is expected to be fined by the PBA after he made an obscene gesture against Converge import Jamaal Franklin during their Governors' Cup game on Sunday night.
Abarrientos flashed his middle finger against Franklin after the import nailed a clutch three-pointer that gave the FiberXers a 111-105 lead with just 1:05 left in the contest.
Franklin made a "sit down" gesture as he went back down on defense, which Abarrientos did not take well. Television cameras showed that he had his middle finger raised in Franklin's direction even as the Hotshots sued for a timeout.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed to reporters that Abarrientos will be sanctioned for his act.
"Siguradong may fine," said Marcial, noting that such actions are barred by the PBA rule book.
Abarrientos admitted to Tiebreaker Times that he committed the infraction, but at the same time expressed his frustration over the officiating.
"Hindi, nang-aalaska lang siya. Eh, feeling niya winning shot ang tinira niya tapos pinapaupo niya kami. 'Yun lang 'yun," Abarrientos said of Franklin, who put up 26 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists against the Hotshots.
"Tapos sinabihan ako ng referee. Sabi ko, 'Ref pwede namang umamin kung mali eh. Lahat naman tayo nagkaka-mali. 'Wag mong itama 'yung mali kasi nakakahiya, nakita ng lahat tao.' 'Yun lang naman sinabi ko eh," he added.
Nonetheless, Abarrientos denied making the obscene gesture against the referees.
"Tapos sinasabihan nila ako, naka-ganun daw ako. Naka-ganun ako sa import, hindi naman sa kanila," he explained.
The FiberXers held on for a 111-109 win, giving Magnolia a loss in their Governors' Cup debut. Converge improved to 3-0, taking the solo lead in the conference.