PBA commissioner Chito Salud on Friday handed out fines totalling P115,000 to seven players involved in two separate scuffles that marred a pair of tune-up games over the past week.
Five players led by two-time PBA MVP and Meralco veteran Danny Ildefonso and teammate Gary David, reigning league MVP Arwind Santos, Alaska import Bill Walker and GlobalPort’s burly forward Jondan Salvador were slapped with P20,000 fines for "court misdemeanor and misconduct."
Batang Pier’s sub Mark Yee was also slapped a P10,000 fine while Alaska forward Gabby Espinas was handed a P5,000 penalty but San Miguel sophomore June Mar Fajardo - who figured in a fight with GlobalPort's Salvador - was exonerated by Salud.
Ildefonso and Walker were involved in a scuffle during the 7:13 mark of the fourth period of the Meralco-Alaska game. The 6-5 Ildefonso claimed he was punched in the stomach by Walker, who also threw the ball at the Meralco big man.
David then came out of nowhere and sneaked in a punch to the face of Walker, before cooler heads intervened at the Meralco gym.
Meralco won that game, 110-103 behind import Terrence Williams’ 10 three-point shots.
On the other hand, Salvador and Fajardo squared off in their tune-up match held at the Acropolis gym. The Globalport forward claimed Santos blindsided him with a hit at the back of his head, while confronting the 6-10 Fajardo.
PBA media bureau chief and special assistant to the commissioner Willy Marcial explained that they find no grounds to penalize Fajardo.
“Walang kasalanan si June Mar dun, at alam na ng mga players yun,” Marcial said, when contacted by Spin,ph on Friday.