BACOLOD Master Sardines is taking a proactive approach and will be sitting out Chris Lalata for Friday's Leg 2 of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup presented by TM.
Coach Vic Ycasiano announced that the team handed Lalata with a one-leg suspension, with the move coming after the team met with league commissioner Eric Altamirano on Thursday night.
"Kami sa Bacolod, we have decided na wag muna palaruin si Chris sa second leg. Not for anything naman, parang gusto naming magpalamig muna siya," he said.
Lalata apologized to Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards star Juan Gomez de Liano after his actions in their Leg 1 encounter led to a sprained right ankle to the University of the Philippines standout.
Officials who reviewed the video questioned if Lalata intentionally put his feet on the landing spot of the driving Gomez de Liano, leading to the injury on Wednesday.
"Chris is very apologetic. Di na nga siya makatulog last night. Lagi niyang sinasabi sa akin na coach, di ko talaga sinadya," shared Ycasiano.
Altamirano was stern in his warning to Lalata, as well as to other players, saying, "We don't want to tolerate dirty tactics or how to hurt the other players."
With the bruising big man out, Bacolod will field Anton Asistio, Choi Ignacio, Alfred Batino, and Robin Rono for Leg 2, where the squad will take on Big Boss Cement-Porac MSC Green Gorillas and the Pagadian-Rocky Sports in Pool D.