QUEZON City Third District Rep. Franz Pumaren on Monday urged Jose Rizal University player John Amores to apologize for two separate punching incidents in different leagues that led to his indefinite suspension from the NCAA.
In a privilege speech, Pumaren said he has yet to hear Amores apologize for punching four College of Saint Benilde players during an NCAA game last week as well as one University of the Philippines cager during a UCBL tournament last July.
“I also hope that the player from JRU will own up to his mistakes and apologize for what he has caused the past few months. Yes, we may have heard of statements from the parties involved but this player has yet to take accountability and apologize to the players he have hurt and affected and even traumatized,” said Pumaren.
Pumaren's privilige speech came after the NCAA suspended Amores indefinitely for attacking CSB players in a fit of rage. Two Blazers players have filed charges against the Heavy Bomber who has also been banned indefintely by the school.
During interpellation by Cavite Fourth District Rep. Pidi Barzaga, Pumaren also called on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to review the sanction imposed by the NCAA.
Pumaren, a former player and coach, said the SBP should take action even after the NCAA suspended Amores indefinitely for the incident since the sanction only covers the collegiate league. Pumaren added JRU should review its basketball program following the incident.
“For me, I think the SBP should review the penalty with regards to the action of the particular player. I just hope that the officials of JRU will review also the manner of the basketball program especially their coaches,” said Pumaren.
“We should call the attention of the SBP because indefinite suspension siya only in the NCAA. He can play in another tournament. He can play in the MPBL. He can play in other tournaments. The SBP, which is the governing arm of the basketball program here, should take action,” said Pumaren.
During his privilege speech, Pumaren called on leagues and schools to conduct physical and mental checks on each player, and make the appropriate action if an athlete is unfit to play since he or she represents the school and even his or her coaches.
The five-time UAAP champion coach of La Salle also called on every basketball organization to revisit their rules and regulations to prevent a repeat of the incident, including implementing tighter security measures in venues for the safety of the players and the audience.
“I recommend that the organizers and management in any sports league in the Philippines to review its rules and policies to avoid this unfortunate event. Let’s encourage them to hire and select better security management to avoid further damage in the future,” said Pumaren.
Pumaren said the incident should serve as a teaching point on the importance of not just physical health but also the mental health of college players, who is exposed to a lot of pressures not just as an athlete but also as a student.
“As a former player and coach of the PBA and collegiate basketball leagues, I hope that this incident will be a learning experience for them not to repeat the same mistakes that they’ve committed. Basketball is one of the sources of pride of the country and we should not tolerate this act,” said Pumaren.