THE PBA D-League has launched a probe into a racial slur against NLEX playe Ola Adeogun by summoning the utility staff of Cagayan Valley who taunted the Nigerian big man with a banana on Wednesday.
Rising Suns staffer Bernard Santos was summoned to appear before PBA commissioner Chito Salud at 11 a.m. on Thursday after the league chief reviewed a video released by Spin.ph showing him holding up a banana while calling out Adeogun in the team's 78-74 win over the Road Warriors.
They Said It!
“Sana mabigyan ng action at maturuan ng leksyon yung perpetrator. Hindi naman natin nature na Filipino yung ganung act eh. Masakit talaga 'yun." - NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez
“The commissioner has already seen the tape. So he immediately told me to summon Mr. Santos at around 11 a.m. tomorrow,” said Eric Castro, PBA D-League tournament supervisor.
Castro also bared that he and PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial have also reviewed the tape and have already given their recommendations to Salud.
Here's the video again:
Meanwhile, NLEX Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez has aired his disgust over the incident and said he is happy to hear about the swift response by the Commissioner’s Office on the matter.
“Grabe yun, napanood ko yung video niyo kagabi. Hindi ko alam na ganun pala katindi ang ginagawa niya kay Ola. Nung game kasi hindi ko masyado nakikita, pero napansin ko,” Fernandez told popular sports newscast program PTV Sports.
Fernandez said the San Beda community is also outraged by the incident while several fan pages on social networking sites have condemned the incident.
“Yung San Beda community rin is crying foul over the matter. Nasaktan sila for Ola, player naming dito yun eh,” said Fernandez, who also coaches the Red Lions in the NCAA.
“Sana mabigyan ng action at maturuan ng leksyon yung perpetrator. Hindi naman natin nature na Filipino yung ganung act eh. Masakit talaga 'yun. Kung sa kanya gagawin 'yun, masasaktan rin siya,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez said he also believes Santos really planned the act, saying the burly team support has been doing the act almost all game long, "all for the purpose of distracting Adeogun."
“Hindi niya naisip lang yun ng biglaan. Talagang pinlano niya 'yun. Kasi ilang ulit niya ginawa tapos pagnaka-talikod pa ang mga referees saka niya ginagawa. Mali talaga yun,” said the four-time D-League champion coach.
The current San Beda mentor also expressed surprised on why Santos was continuously allowed to do the discriminatory act without being restrained by other Cagayan Valley officials.
“Mangiyak-ngiyak talaga si Ola. Kasi hindi na trash talk 'yun. Panlalait na kasi 'yun. Hindi lang naman si Ola mismo ang nade-degrade dun, pati lahi niya,” said Fernandez, who bared that Adeogun has been given by San Beda priests proper psychological briefing regarding the experience.
Meanwhile, both NLEX and San Beda, teams that Adeogun play for in the D-League and NCAA, respectively, are expected to come up with statements regarding the matter.
Asked what he wants as reprimand, Fernandez said they are leaving it up to the Commissioner’s Office.
“Kung ano ang dapat, yun naman ang ibibigay ni commissioner Chito Salud,” said Fernandez.