"I honestly didn’t do anything."
La Salle guard Kib Montalbo insisted he didn't do anything to merit an ejection during a commotion that also involved Mapua big man Allwell Oraeme in the fourth quarter of their Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup game on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
The two got tangled up after a rebound play under the Cardinals' basket before game officials stepped in and slapped both players with a disqualifying foul.
Montalbo felt the refs misread the play.
“I think the ref misinterpreted it kasi nahawakan ko lang siya (Oraeme), then nag-extra motion siya and natamaan na ako, dumugo ‘yung gums ko eh,” shared the Bacolod native after La Salle's 93-76 victory.
“Tumingin ako sa kanya and sabi ko, 'Why did you do that?' tapos dinisqualifying foul na ako ng referee. Wala naman akong ginawa eh, walang punch, walang sapak, walang elbow,’ he added.
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo said that he had no idea what happened, but vowed to review the tape to see if the school can file an appeal before the technical committee.
“Hindi ko alam kung ano nangyari doon pero titignan ko ‘yung video,” said Ayo. “Na-slap pa ng one-game suspension si Kib pero parang wala naman ginawa si Kib eh. Titignan namin kung pwede i-appeal.”
Montalbo, however, insisted that he will accept the automatic one-game suspension that will keep him out of La Salle’s game against San Beda on Saturday.