HAPEE and Café France were spared from penalties following a near-melee in Game Two of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
PBA media bureau chief Willy Marcial said no sanctions were slapped on both teams after a commotion that marred Café France’s victory over Hapee in Game Two.
With the PBA's decision, Hapee and Cafe France will have complete lineups going to the rubber match for the Foundation Cup crown on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The commotion started after Hapee’s Art Dela Cruz went down hard following a collision with Café France’s Alfred Batino with less than three minutes left in the fourth. At one point, Dela Cruz appeared to be in excruciating pain but eventually stood up on his own power.
Moments later, Hapee’s Ola Adeogun and JP Mendoza exchanged heated words with Café France’s Michael Miranda. Hapee and Café France team managers Bernard Yang and Jun Tiongco also had a verbal spat before cooler heads intervened.
Yang and Tiongco were ejected from the game for 'flagrant misconduct.' Adeogun was slapped with a technical foul for 'disrespecting a game official while Mendoza and Miranda were also assessed with a similar infraction for verbal altercation.
Café France coach Egay Macaraya said his players were not trying to hurt anyone from Hapee in Game Two.
“Alam naman natin na hindi sadya. They were jumping for the ball,” said Macaraya. “Medyo na-sprain yata si Dela Cruz pero wala namang dirty. Hindi naman sinadya. Nakita naman ‘yung laro. Walang masamang intention.”
For his part, Yang admitted emotions got the best of him after Dela Cruz appeared to have sustained a serious injury.
“Takot ko lang din kasi baka na-injure ‘yung player. ‘Yun lang naman. Nakakahiya rin kasi dahil maglalaro na rin sila sa NCAA,” said Yang.