ALASKA team owner Fred Uytengsu said Meralco's Jared Dillinger should have been thrown out for "strangling" Aces sophomore Calvin Abueva during an altercation in the fourth quarter of the Bolts' 65-74 win in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The incident happened during the final 10:09 mark in the final period when the two players collided and fell over the Big Dome’s cushioned baseline railing after going for a rebound, with Abueva’s right arm hitting Dillinger that left the Bolts' Fil-Am guard with a bloodied nose.
When Dillinger got back up, he appeared to strangle Abueva.
The referees ended up calling a double technical on the two players, a decision which infuriated Uytengsu as he immediately got up from his seat and went directly to PBA commissioner Chito Salud to complain about the call.
"I asked him (Salud) if they allow players to strangle other players in the league," he said.
The 52-year-old accomplished triathlete cited the incident last season when Petron import Renaldo Balkman was slapped with a lifetime ban from the league after he choked his teammate Arwind Santos.
"The last time there was a strangulation (Renaldo) Balkman was banned from the league — and that was with his own teammate," he said.
"Here, Dillinger was choking Calvin. You can see in the replay (and) if you watch closely, Dillinger realized he probably lost control of the situation and then backed off. You can see in his eyes that he knew he did a mistake," he continued.
"Then, to go ahead and just a double technical (foul), double technical is fine, but anytime you put a hand like that on a player, if you read the rule book, that should be an ejection."
The Alaska boss said at the very least, Dillinger should have been ejected from the game.
"I don't think the fine could do anything. I think the player should be kicked out (of the game) and (that) may change the complexion of the game. At this point I think the league can't fix the mistake they've made, hopefully they just do something about it but honestly it's just very disappointing," said Uytengsu.
He stressed that being the oldest professional league in Asia, the PBA should always "do the right thing."
"The league should do the right thing. If you are now telling other players it's okay to strangle another player, I mean, we're supposed to be the professional league, we're supposed to be setting the example," he said. "So, I don't know what example we are sending to college players, to the youth. That that's okay?
"Yes, I think players lose control at some point and I think it's the league's responsibility to step in and punish the players - whether it's an Alaska player, a Meralco player, or any player in the league."
In one word, Uytengsu summed up his opinion of the referee's verdict.