LA SALLE's runaway w109-81 win over University of Santo Tomas on Sunday was marred by a fistfight between Green Archer Ramil Tero and Marvin Lee in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
The hot-tempered game was all but decided with 20 ticks left when Tero and Lee exchanged punches at midcourt, sparking a bench-clearing incident. The two were later thrown out of the game.
La Salle's Ricci Rivero, Gabe Capacio, and Santi Santillan and UST's Carlos Escalambre, Christian Garcia, Jordan Sta. Ana, Jeepy Faundo, Zach Huang, and Wendell de Guzman were all ejected for entering the court at the height of the scuffle.
The two were seen trash-talking before tempers flared in the dying seconds.
"I told the referees already na if you don't control the game, magsusuntukan yang mga yan. Kasi maraming mga extra motion na di tinatawag. Ayaw naman natin mangyari yun," said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo.
It wasn't clear in the replay who else joined the fray but witnesses claimed Capacio of La Salle also kicked Lee during the brawl.
Ayo quashed such claim, saying his players were just trying to protect their comrade.
"Malapit sa bench namin pero wala namang sumuntok sa amin e, dun sa mga tumayo," he said. "Syempre yung mga players ayaw din nila na maagrabyado teammate nila. Siguro poprotektahan lang nila si Ramil."
SPIN.ph tried to talk to Tero and Lee for comment but both players politely declined.
La Salle improved to 2-1 after dropping its opening game against Jose Rizal University, while the Tigers remained winless in three outings.
La Salle 109 - Mbala 21, Melecio 17, Rivero Rc. 17, Montalbo 14, Rivero Pr. 12, Caracut 11, Baltazar 6, Tratter 5, Santillan 4, Go 2, Gonzales 0, Paraiso 0, Capacio 0, Tero 0.
UST 81 - Lee 18, Akomo 16, Sta. Ana 10, Garcia 9, Huang 8, Faundo 7, Basibas 4, Escalambre 4, Afoakwah 2, Garido 2, De Guzman 1, Soriano 0, Lorenzana 0, Caunan 0, Romero 0, Romero 0, Yabut 0, Santos 0.
Quarterscores: 36-21, 55-37, 79-66, 109-81