MANILA, Philippines -- An already emotional PBA Philippine Cup finals took another turn after Sunday's Game 3, when TNT center Poy Erram accused an unnamed Magnolia player of "hurting" others on purpose and "spitting … on faces."
The Tropang GIGA lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1, but the Hotshots seized the momentum after a 106-98 win in Game 3 where Erram had 10 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
Game 3 was a physical affair, with TNT forward Troy Rosario needing to be brought to a local hospital after dislocating his left pinky finger following a collision with Magnolia's Jackson Corpuz in the third quarter. Corpuz, already sitting on a technical foul, was called for a flagrant and ejected from the game.
Afterward, Erram took to Instagram to announce that he will "not … be silent on this matter."
"We're adults here and we get paid to perform and act professional; being a professional athlete is a privilege," said Erram. "So you need to give it value and give everything, and be humble about it."
Erram acknowledged that basketball "is a physical game." However, he also pointed out that going beyond the limits of the sport is "downright disrespectful."
"It reflects on who you are as a person. Taunting and trash talk, that's part of the game. If you get hit, prepare yourself and just play, 'cause it's part of it," said Erram.
"But hurting someone on purpose and spitting on their faces, and end(ing) up enjoying it???? You have no right to be in this league or anywhere else," he stressed.
Erram did not identify the Magnolia player who allegedly spit on their faces. However, he called on his fellow basketball player to clean up his act and protect his reputation.
"You are an adult, you know what you're doing, and please don't give the excuse na nadala sa emotion," he said. "'Wag mong hayaan masira ang pangalan mo dahil sa mga ganyan sitwasyon na alam mo naman na ikakasasama mo."
"I'm not saying this cause I hate the person, no. I'm saying this to remind him that you can be physical, taunt me, talk trash but don't you ever spit on my face or someone ever," he added. "You need to check yourself or get check(ed) by someone 'cause that's not a good thing."
"Remember, you're not just representing yourself. You're representing your team and the company you're in and especially your family. You don't want them to see you like that."
Erram is currently averaging 9.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game for the Tropang GIGA.
Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they are in the process of investigating Erram's allegations.
"Tinitingnan namin 'yung sinasabi ni Poy," he said.
But the commissioner warned that such actions will not be tolerated and players who are found to have committed those kinds of acts will be punished by the league.
"Hindi pupuwede sa ating liga 'yun … Wala dapat gumagawa noon sa atin. Hindi makatarungan," he stressed.