THE PBA Commissioner's Office has meted a lifetime ban on Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua for mauling a referee during a D-League game, saying there is simply no room for 'hotheads and hooligans' in basketball.
Announcing his decision after a meeting with Cagayan officials which Pua snubbed, Commissioner Chito Salud said Thursday's incident where Pua punched referee Ben Montero after resenting a call was the 'last straw' for a controversial coach with a long history of run-ins with game officials.
"In the highest interest of sportsmanship and the norms of human decency, the league is hereby imposing a lifetime ban on Coach Pua from all PBA-related activities for mauling a referee and for his recalcitrant and incorrigible demeanor," Salud said.
Pua was also fined P500,000 for what Salud described as a 'dastardly act.'
Pua, a former player of San Sebastian in the NCAA who is the son-in-law of Cagayan governor Alvaro Antonio, becomes the first personality to hit by a life ban by the league since former Petron import Ronaldo Balkman attacked teammates in a 2013 meltdown.
Salud said the PBA will assist Montero if he pursues a civil or criminal case against Pua, who in December was banned for three games and fined P50,000 for 'physical contact with a referee' and was penalized in 2012 for punching a referee in a non-sanctioned tune-up match.
"There is plainly no room for hotheads and hooligans in basketball, let alone other sports. Mauling a game official can never be justified in any way," Salud said.
"We view this latest act of Coach Pua to be despicable and offensive to the sensibilities of all sports stakeholders and aficionados. It lays waste to the concept of sportsmanship and is a complete breakdown in a coach's responsibility to do what is right for the sport and the fans," Salud said.
The PBA will also ask the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to extend Pua's ban to all SBP-sanctioned activities, Salud added.
On the other hand, Cagayan team manager Frederic Collado was fined P20,000 for his statements saying Pua's outburst was triggered by Montero's 'arrogant' behavior as well as the 'pang-inter barangay' officiating in the developmental league.