THE intensity of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals has elevated on a whole new level.
Sources told SPIN.ph TnT big man Dave Marcelo and Aris Dionisio of Magnolia traded punches shortly after the fiercely fought Game Four of the best-of-seven title playoffs at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The fight, sources added, happened at the Quest Hotel located inside the Clark FreePort and Special Economic Zone in Angeles City where both the Hotshots and the Tropang GIGA are billeted under arrangements of the league semi-bubble.
Hotel lobby fight
The two second-stringers came to blows in the lobby of the hotel as the two teams retreated to the hotel on Wednesday night after the Tropang GIGA's 106-89 victory gave them a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven finals.
The league is yet to release a statement on the issue, with one source saying officials are still tying to secure a video of the incident from the hotel's CCTV system.
Insiders are vague on what sparked the commotion, but one source bared coaches and officials of the two teams restored order themselves since league officials are staying in another hotel in Pampanga.
The hotel fight is just the latest controversy to mar this heated series that has seen accusations of dirty play and a spitting incident, biased officiating and a bad fall by TNT's Troy Rosario after a flagrant foul by the Hotshots' Jackson Corpuz.
Marcelo had a big game for TnT in the Game 4 as back-up to the hurting Troy Rosario, scoring all of his 10 points in the second half when the Tropang Giga put the game away for good.
Dionisio, though, was a DNP.
Both players weren't utilized in the first half of Game 5 on Friday night.
SPIN.ph tried to reach out to the PBA Commissioner's Office but has yet to get a reply as of posting time.
The Tropang GIGA later dispatched Magnolia in Game Five, 94-79, to end a six-year title drought.