A REFEREE in the PBA D-League was taken to a hospital on Thursday for injuries after being hit by Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua in the Rising Suns' game against Livermarin at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
According to witnesses, Pua was seeking clarification from referee Ben Montero about a certain call when the referee went to the officials' table to slap a warning on the controversial Cagayan coach.
The referee’s move apparently irked Pua who punched Montero in the back and in the face, league officials confirmed.
Montero was later taken to the Medical City since the Pua punch opened a wound in the cheekbone in the left side of the referee's face, league officials added.
Cagayan Valley was leading, 47-41, in the Foundation Cup elimination-round game when the incident happened at the final 1:39-minute mark of the second quarter, leading to Pua's ejection.
The Rising Suns went on to win the game, 106-94.
This is not the first time Pua had a run-in with game officials.
In 2012, Pua punched a referee during a practice game but only got a three-match suspension from the league since it was not a sanctioned match.
Just last December, Pua was slapped with a three-game suspension and a P50,000 fine for a physical contact with two referees during a match.