TANDUAY Light coach Lawrence Chongson has been slapped by the PBA with a one-game suspension and a P150,000 fine for his tirade against the D-League over its 'lack of parity' and presence of 'fly-by-night' teams.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud slapped Chongson with the biggest fine ever meted on an individual in the developmental league after meeting the controversial coach on Tuesday morning at the league’s office.
“Given the effect of the statements issued publicly by coach Chongson, this office finds that, first, he did issue statements that I find to be critical and prejudicial to the league. Second, he issued statements that are disrespectful to the other member clubs. And finally, he issued statements and made allegations that are clearly careless and unsubstantiated," Salud said.
Chongson’s penalty of a fine plus suspension is the heaviest in the league. The previous high was the P150,000 slapped on Big Chill for staging a ‘partial walkout’ in the Foundation Cup earlier this year.
Chongson had hit out at the league’s parity — or the lack of it — which he said was an offshoot of the D-league allowing member ballclubs such as NLEX and Hapee to form ‘super teams.’
With most member ballclubs reduced into fighting for second place, Chongson said the PBA D-League has ended up luring ‘fly-by-night’ teams to fill its roster.
Chongson has since apologized to the league, saying that he made a ‘wrong choice of words.’ The Tanduay coach also said he didn’t meant to offend any teams in the developmental league.
Salud also advised Chongson during the summon to be more careful next time in issuing statements.
“I reminded him to be more careful and exercise caution next time he allows himself to be interviewed particularly on topics that may tend to negatively impact on the league and be potentially offensive to the stature, reputation, and goodwill of other member ballclubs,” said Salud.