ONE lesson learned for B-Meg coach Tim Cone – never ever throw a monobloc chair at center court during the course of the game.
On Tuesday, PBA commissioner Chito Salud came down hard on the outspoken coach, slapping him with fines totalling P23,400 for his chair-throwing antic in Game One of the Governors Cup Finals between the Llamados and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Cone was initially fined P3,400 for incurring his fourth technical foul of the conference. Salud however, penalized him another P20,000 for what he termed as "serious disrespect for the game that could be misinterpreted as inciting further chaos and outburst from the fans."
This developed as the Smart Araneta Coliseum management moved to charge the league P15,000 for the scratches on the basketball floor caused by the chair-throwing incident.
Upon inspection of the wooden floor, it was revealed the flooring bore "scratch marks and damage of more or less four feet near center court where the chair was thrown," the Big Dome management said.
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial, however, said the league will bill B-Meg for the damages, bringing to P38,400 the cost of the incident both for Cone and his team.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the first time I saw a thing [like this] happen. Kahit sa mga barangay (games), wala pa akong nakitang ganyan,” said Salud of Cone’s outburst, which was reminiscent of what the legendary American college coach Bobby Knight once did in a 1985 game between Indiana and Purdue.
The fine is non-appealable, according to Salud, to be paid within the next 15 days.
The use of monobloc chair will also be strictly banned inside the Big Dome beginning in Game Two this Wednesday.
Marcial said the ban on monobloc chairs, which coaches use during timeout huddles, has long been enforced by Araneta management, but repeatedly defied by most teams.
Cone waived his option to appear before the Commissioner’s Office also on Tuesday as he dropped a plan to bring videos of what he perceived were rugged plays by the Elasto Painters against the Llamados, which he claimed were not called by game officials.
The B-Meg coach was ejected from the game with eight minutes left in the series opener at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before a crowd of close to 12,000. Cone apparently was protesting a non-call by the referees on a foul committed against a driving James Yap with the Llamados trailing, 64-75.
Cone was tossed out for flagrant misconduct.
He later criticized Rain or Shine during a post-game interview for what he felt were too much physicality intended to hurt his players. Game officials were likewise not spared by the American mentor, who revealed he got tired of yelling and pleading his case with the referees.
“I just don’t want guys getting hurt out there,” said Cone. “Our pleas were falling on deaf ears.
“The referees have to help us out in terms of controlling the game.”