CEBU CITY — A sleepy Father’s Day afternoon turned intense as a free-for-all marred the University of the Visayas’ 94-67 win over the University of San Carlos in the Cesafi Partner’s Cup.
UV was putting the finishing touches on the impressive victory as they led, 87-56, when the Green Lancers’ Tristan Albina and the Warriors’ John Reel Saycon got tangled up and hit the deck, the latter getting punched in the abdomen.
Albina promptly retreated to their bench but Saycon pursued him and landed a punch before pulling back as UV coaches and players tried to defend their own. Both teams’ benches cleared and met at halfcourt in a melee right in front of league commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy.
When the dust settled, both Albina and Saycon were ejected but the latter got a more severe penalty, getting suspended for the rest of the tournament in a decision that was swiftly handed down by Tiukinhoy.
Saycon apologized for his role in the fracas.
“I made a mistake. I just want to say sorry to them (UV),” said Saycon, who made the Mythical Five of the Cesafi in his rookie year last season.
“About the suspension, I think it is right because I violated the ground rules. Rules are Rules. The commissioner is just doing his part.”
UV head coach Gary Cortes also emphasized to his players that they are to play hard but never dirty.
“We want our players to play hard, but absolutely no punching,” Cortes said.
New recruit Lassina Coulibaly led UV with 24 markers while Rey Suerte put up 16 points.
The loss dropped USC to 3-1.