GLOBALPORT’S Fil-Australian forward Anthony Semerad was no longer surprised when he got elbowed and punched in a PBA match on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But he never thought it would be this soon.
“It’s (PBA game) definitely physical, but I’m ready to take it all,” said the 6-foot-4 Semerad, who figured in a scuffle with KIA Motors' Chad Alonzo in the Batang Pier's 84-79 win over the Sorento.
Although playing under GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio, a rugged player during his playing days, the rookie out of San Beda said he was told to just focus on the game and play through the physicality.
Semerad, two weeks removed from helping the San Bed Red Lions win their fifth straight NCAA men’s basketball title, finished with a PBA career-best 12 points, on top of four rebounds.
But he ended up with more 'souvenirs' from the match courtesy of Alonzo after the scuffle that erupted with about 50 seconds left in the first quarter.
“My jaw is actually more painful than the bump up there,” the 23-year-old freshman forward added while pointing to a big, reddish lump on his forehead.
Semerad fell on the floor while trying to jockey for position with Alonzo, a former Adamson Falcon. As Semerad tried to get up, it appeared he was tripped by Alonzo who also hit the former Red Lion in the face with his right elbow.
Both players wreslted on the floor, with Alonzo elbowing the GlobalPort rookie in the head and face, before game officials broke up the scuffle.
“The elbow (of Alonzo) was on the jaw and the punch on the ground during scramble or something, but it happened so fast that I couldn’t remember,” said GlobalPort's seventh pick overall in the last rookie draft.
Both players were given technical fouls. The soft-spoken GlobalPort rookie, though, felt what Alonzo got was a mere slap on the wrist, saying it was the KIA enforcer who started everything.
“It (penalty) should have been more, because I got elbowed on the face. I don’t know, but I just have to suck it up. I’m only a rookie, so just continue to play hard, be ready for it (physicality). Don’t stop what I’m doing, that’s all I can do,” he said.