ANOTHER case of ‘what if.’
The incident between Calvin Abueva and Terrence Jones would have not escalated into a more serious situation had game officials made an earlier call against the TnT Katropa import for his hit on the groin of the Phoenix Fuel forward.
Apparently, that non-call was what triggered it all and saw Abueva lose control of himself and went after the 6-foot-9 Jones, who he knocked off the floor with a solid clothesline that left the former NBA player with a busted lower lip.
Referee Bing Oliva, who was in front of both Abueva and Jones when the import struck ‘The Beast,’ had been suspended by the league for a total of 10-playing game day.
Since there was a no-call in that particular situation, game officials couldn’t review the play right away under the ‘no-call, no-review’ policy.
A call however, would have resulted in an F2 call on Jones and outright ejection.
It was only upon review of the game tape by league Commissioner Willie Marcial and his technical officials that Jones was caught with hitting Abueva on his private part.
Phoenix team governor Atty. Raymond Zorrilla expressed sadness that one missed call led one thing to another.
“Just for this game had they established control, things like that would have not happened,” he said.
“Ang masaklap lang for this instance, it was clear that it was a punch, pero nothing happened with the referees.”
The incident was similar to what Alex Cabagnot did to RJ Jazul during the Philippine Cup semifinals series between San Miguel and Phoenix. Cabagnot wasn't whistled for an apparent low blow on Jazul, only to be fined by the league for P25,000 or similar to an F2 infraction when the game tape was also reviewed.
Abueva’s vicious tackle on Jones was an outright flagrant foul penalty 2 and led to his ejection with still seven minutes left in the bruising game won by the Katropa, 114-88, at the Ynares Sports Center on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the PBA Commissioner’s Office fined Abueva a total of P70,000, including P50,000 for his hit on Jones.
Jones was also penalized a total of P70,000 – with P50,000 alone for hitting Abueva on the groin area.
“Pero siyempre mali pa rin yung ginawa ni Calvin, but it would have not come to that had it been called,” added Zorrilla.
Nonetheless, the Phoenix governor said the incident was ‘just an exception,’ and still profess his faith to the league’s technical committee headed by Eric Castro.