A COMMOTION involving coaches Boycie Zamar of Cebuana Lhuillier and Alvin Pua of Cagayan Valley served as Game One sidelight of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinal series on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The two coaches went at each other in the second period when Pua confronted Zamar at midcourt after the Cebuana mentor had a heated conversation with Cagayan Valley’s Don Trollano following a physical play on the floor.
Game officials, players, and even assistant coaches prevented the incident from getting out of hand.
Both coaches didn’t shake hands after the game which the Gems won, 89-85, moving Cebuana within a win of clinching a berth in the Finals while dealing the Rising Suns their first loss of the campaign.
Asked about the incident later, Zamar declined to discuss it.
“May nangyari ba? Hindi ko alam e. Walang nangyari. Sorry. Tanungin mo na lang siya. Hindi ko alam,” a Zamar dead-panned.
Turning serious, Zamar said the incident was all part of the game.
“Mind games. This is basketball. If you are in the semis, you have to aim for the finals,” said the San Miguel Beer deputy coach.
For its part, Cagayan Valley assistant coach Nonoy Bonleon said the team was only looking after Trollano.
“Nagalit siya (Pua) kasi nung nagkatumbahan, linapitan si Trollano. Sinabihan daw na parang tinakot na, 'Maliit lang ang mundo ng basketball,'" recalled Bonleon of the incident.
"Parang ganun. Sa isip ko, kung baliktarin namin, magagalit din sila. Hindi ko alam kung tama kami pero pangit naman,” he stressed.
Zamar did admit apologizing to the players later at halftime for "losing his cool."
“It’s my fault. I lost my cool. Siyempre as a leader, nakita nila na nagkaroon ng breakdown so I apologized to them at halftime,” said Zamar.