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    Apologetic Lalata given stern warning, but insists he meant JGDL no harm

    Oct 22, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    CHRIS Lalata has apologized to Juan Gomez de Liano for an incident that left the latter injured in their Leg 1 clash in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup.

    The Bacolod Master Sardines center asked for forgiveness from the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards star over Wednesday's game, which saw the University of the Philippines star sprain his right ankle after landing on the former's foot.

    "Juan, sorry sa nangyari. Alam mo naman na idol din kita. Teammate kita sa Marinero. Sorry," Lalata was quoted as saying as the two parties met with league commissioner Eric Altamirano on Thursday to bury the hatchet.

    "Hindi ko intensyon na sasaktan yung kalaban. Hindi ko intensyon na manggulang. Nag-sorry talaga ako sa kanya."

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    Gomez de Liano, for his part, accepted the apology saying: "I know Chris. He's a nice guy. We were teammates in the D-League. It wasn't his intention, the way I saw it."

    The high-flyer said he only wanted to clear the air on one thing: 'I just want to understand why he needed to box out when the play already ended."

    The Gilas Pilipinas cadet hurt his right foot on a drive after landing on Lalata's foot, ruling him out for the remainder of the preliminaries as well as the playoffs. That left the Rice Vanguards with only Gab Banal, Jai Reyes, and Maclean Sabellina to make it to the semifinals.

    The injury will also keep him out of Leg 2 on Friday and left him questionable for the succeeding legs.

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      Altamirano warned Lalata that actions of the similar degree in the future could mean serious punishment, saying, "I'd like to give a stern warning sa'yo. Next time it happens, ma-sanction, ma-penalize ka na namin."

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      The league also ruled that video reviews in aid of officiating will be implemented starting on Friday following what has been a heated and physical preseason tournament last Monday and an equally bruising Leg 1 on Wednesday.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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