RESPONDING to the anger over his 'cheap shot' at Alaska’s Calvin Abueva on Wednesday night, Air21 power forward Rob Reyes insisted he is "not a dirty player nor did he intend to hurt the Aces rookie.
“I know it’s getting a lot of attention, but I didn’t intend to hurt anybody. I don’t consider myself a dirty player. I was just trying to bring a lot of energy into the team,” Reyes told Spin.ph, a day after the Express’ wild 104-103 victory over the Aces in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome.
The wide-bodied Reyes was caught on camera hitting Abueva square in the face with an open hand while the two players tried to get up following a wild loose ball scramble at mid-court late in the game. The play was completely missed by the referees.
Reyes, however, claimed he did not hit the former San Sebastian Stag intentionally, but was just trying to balance himself as he tried to stand up and immediately get back into the action.
Reyes also claimed Abueva pulled his jersey during the play, causing the two to fall to the floor.
The 29-year-old Fil-Am said he is just awaiting an official summon from the PBA Commissioner’s Office after learning that the exact play is being reviewed by officials on Thursday.
Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu, who saw the wildy condemned play from ringside and had led the condemnation of the non-call, said he hopes Commissioner Chito Salud "will do the right thing."
"There should have been a technical (foul) called and that could have changed the game's outcome," Uytengsu told Spin.ph.
His view was seconded by Alaska coach Luigi Trillo.
“I hope they (Commissioner’s Office) crack the whip on this because you don’t want to be a punching bag,” said Trillo. “I think they need to be consistent in sanctioning players and referees.”