BLACKWATER big man James Sena insisted he didn’t mean to hurt Jeff Chan after the Ginebra gunner sprained his ankle in the Elite’s 108-107 overtime win over the Gin Kings last Friday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Sena looked like he intentionally planted his foot on the landing spot of Chan at the height of the Ginebra guard’s three-point attempt early in the fourth quarter.
But the Elite big man explained he was in fact trying to avoid a similar situation where he was called for a flagrant foul 1 after planting his foot on the landing spot of Asi Taulava when Sena’s right foot crossed the three-point line and caught Taulava’s foot.
This time, Sena, who's in his eighth year in the league, looked at the floor to try to avoid the three-point line, although he still caught the foot of the left-handed Chan.
“Eh yung tira pala ni Jeff, pa-ano rin, kasi fumade-off din ako papunta sa kanya, tapos yung tira niya, pasugod din pala siya,” Sena tried to explain on Sunday after his team’s win over Meralco. “Hindi ko naman sinasadya na dun siya mag-landing eh, kasi hindi naman ako umabot sa three-point line eh; yun yung iniisip ko eh.”
The PBA on Sunday slapped a P20,000 fine on Sena for his action.
“Yung sinasabi ng iba na sinadya ko, hindi mo naman maiiwasan yung mga tao na ganun yung iisipin,” said the former JRU star, who turns 31 in August.
“Pero sa sarili ko, iniiwasan ko talaga yung three-point line na lumagpas ako, kasi alam ko dun siya magla-land sa three-point line. Pero nung nakita naman sa video, hindi naman ako lumagpas sa three-point line,” he added.
Sena said he already sent a text message to apologize to Chan.
The Elite big man also has a message to critics.
“Hindi naman ako dirty player eh. Nangyari lang talaga yun,” Sena insisted. “Twice na nangyari sa akin yun kaya may history na, pero hindi ko naman sinasadya yung mga ganun. Syempre iniingatan ko din na mga professional players kami.”