ARWIND Santos cast doubts on Kelly Nabong's claim that he didn't throw the ball deliberately at the San Miguel forward during a scuffle that marred halftime of the PBA Philippine Cup game against Meralco.
The hulking Meralco forward claimed he merely threw the ball back into the court and didn't know Santos was behind him after the two tangled for the rebound just before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The ball hit Santos in the mid-section and he responded by throwing the ball back at Nabong, sparking a skirmish and a verbal exchange as the two camps headed back into the dugout for the halftime intermission.
“Sabi niya hindi raw niya alam na nandun ako,” Santos said after emerging from the Beermen dugout just before the start of the second half.
“Naririnig ko sinasabi niya, 'I’ll kick your ass, I’ll kick your ass,” a smiling Santos said, who appeared to have cooled down.
The score was tied at halftime, 47-all, before the Beermen made a late run to score a 101-85 victory - their second in as many games in the season-opening conference.
"Kasi yung bola binato niya sa akin e. Tpos binato ko rin kasi medyo nabigla rin tayo kahit mahina lang. Kulitan lang ba," Santos recalled of the incident.
The two was later called for double technical foul.
Santos later clarified with the referees at the start of the third period on whether Nabong would be called for a technical foul had he not threw the ball back on the Meralco forward.
The game officials answered in the affirmative.
“Sayang dapat tinawagan mo na parang hindi ko na binato,” said the former league MVP.