ROGEMAR 'Ogie' Menor does not want to be known as the PBA’s modern-day bad boy.
A day after he got ejected for hammering Meralco import Mario West in the head in their PBA Governors’ Cup game Wednesday night, the Air21 player insisted he was far from being the enforcer he was pictured to be.
“Hindi ako dirty player,” Menor told Spin.ph while waiting to be called for his meeting with Commissioner Chito Salud at the league office on Thursday morning. “I’m just doing my job sa game, especially on defense.”
A big-time scorer in college with the San Beda Red Lions, Menor has morphed into a defensive stopper in his three seasons in the pro league.
“Yun kasi yung nagmo-motivate sa akin as a player — kung hindi ko mapa-score yung kalaban, masaya ako dun. Yun yung prinsipyo ko, na ma-stop yung kalaban,” he said.
He was not known as a dirty player early in his career. He doesn’t even remember a time while playing for the Red Lions that he got a technical foul for rough play.
But his reputation as a toughie has grown in past years, no thanks to several run-ins in the pro league where he earned the ire of both fellow players and coaches.
His flagrant foul 2 against West, which earned him a one-game suspension and a P10,000 fine, led to his third ejection this season alone.
Before that, Menor was ejected from a Philippine Cup game against Rain or Shine where he clapped sarcastically in the direction of Painters coach Yeng Guiao. He was fined P20,000 for his action.
He was also involved in a verbal tussle with Ginebra assistant coach Allan Caidic in March.
Menor actually received sanctions that were lower than anticipated. Flagrant foul 2 calls normally merit a one-game ban and a P20,000 fine, but Salud decided to impose a lesser penalty.
The commissioner, however, upheld the referees' decision to slap Menor with a flagrant foul 2, saying Menor gave West a “vicious blow to the head without any chance of reaching the ball.”
But down to the very end, Menor insisted there was no intention to hurt West.
“Wala naman akong intention na saktan siya,” he said. “Ang intention ko ay supalpalin siya. Unang-una, iniiwasan ko na rin masangkot sa ganung bagay tapos pangalawa ayaw ko na rin mag-multa.”