PBA commish on ‘luto’ yell — Can’t trace who said it, but players warned sternly

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 06:51 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2020 07:29 PM

Whoever shouted "luto" in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals between Meralco and Barangay Ginebra got himself off the hook. 

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial acknowledged his office could not find concrete evidence pointing to the heckler whose voice was heard on TV on Sunday.

"Sa investigation namin, wala kaming nakita sa video. Tinanong namin 'yung referees, table officials at mga staff natin, walang narining," Marcial said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. 

Meralco was scrutinized following its 91-84 loss in Game 3 when someone in the background was heard saying "Ref, lutung luto to ah." The voice was recorded on video.

Since they did not trace the heckler, Marcial said he talked to Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo.

"Sinabihan ko na hindi dapat maulit ito. Hindi lang sa Meralco, sa lahat ng teams sinasabihan ko na mag-iingat sa mga sinasabi nila. Kasi sa oras na malaman namin in the future at mahuli namin, pipinahan ko ng malaki at isususpend ko," Marcial said.

"Sinabi ko respect the game."

The commissioner said whoever gets caught airing statements detrimental to the league will fine between P20,000 and P100,000, depending on the gravity of the statement.

"Katulad noon, mabigat-bigat iyon [luto statement]. 'Pag nahuli ko kailangan nilang mag-explain. Mababa na sa akin ang P20,000 d'yan. Pwedeng umabot ng P100,000 pa," he said.

Marcial encouraged anyone who has grievances on officiating to approach him or anyone from the technical group.

Questioning the officiating in the open, he added, is detrimental o the league.

"Kung may problema ka, pumunta ka sa akin . . . Ano ba namang icontact ako sa cellphone?" he said. 

Reynel Hugnatan was suspected to have made the luto statement, but the PBA commissioner said there was no evidence.

"Nagdeny naman siya sa press ang sabi niya hindi siya . . . Parehas naman kasi tayo . . . Kung walang ebidensya, hindi naman tayo basta naghuhusga," Marcial said.

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