RAYMOND Almazan leads a big group of players who face sanctions in the wake of Rain or Shine's 96-90 win over GlobalPort in a hot-tempered PBA Commissioner's Cup game on Sunday night.
But it's the referees who face the biggest punishment.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said he will summon a number of players in the wake of a highly physical game that saw Kelly Nabong shove Maverick Ahanmisi, Malcolm White hit Chris Tiu with an elbow, and Almazan deliver a cheap shot on White in retaliation.
"Ipapatawag ko sila lahat, but after the All-Star (games) na," Marcial told SPIN.ph on Monday. "But if I get the chance to talk to them during the All-Star festivities, kausapin ko na rin sila."
Marcial, however, was most disappointed with the three referees who worked the game and failed to call a flagrant foul - at the very least - on Almazan after the gangling Rain or Shine slotman delivered an elbow to White's face late in the second half.
Almazan later insulted White with his gestures and their feud extended to the hallway leading to the dugouts, where they challenged each other to a fight.
The former Letran standout later admitted he was only standing off for teammate Tiu, who suffered a busted lip that needed stiches after getting hit with a White elbow.
Asked about the elbow, Marcial said the league technical committee is still assessing if it was intentional or not.
“Pisikal ‘yung game eh, siya naman nag-start ng ganun. Start ng game, gusto ko siya i-hand shake, sabi niya, don’t shake my hand. Walang problema," Almazan said.
“Pero ‘yung ginawa niya kay Chris, siyempre hindi naman namin pababayaan ‘yung teammate namin. Hindi kami ganun klaseng player na magba-back down sa ganun,” said Almazan.
“Lagi kaming nasa likod ng isa’t isa. Siguro part of the game lang ‘yun.”
The trash talking spilled over into the hallway of the Smart-Araneta Coliseum several minutes after the game, but cooler heads prevailed before the situation could get worse.
“Parang sabi niya sa akin, ‘C’mon now.’ Sabi ko, ‘It’s up to you, man.’ Wala sa akin ‘yun. Sa kanya na lang ‘yun. Hindi naman ako aatras sa kanya,” said Almazan.