STRESSING that "fighting has no place in the PBA," Commissioner Chito Salud hinted at heavy fines and possibly suspensions against the players involved in the fracas that marred the Governors Cup game between San Mig Coffee and Globalport Wednesday night at the Astrodome.
Salud said players of both teams will be summoned before the Commissioner’s Office on Thursday, with the Batang Pier the first ones to appear in the morning and the Mixers following suit in the afternoon.
Although a review of the game tape will again be made and the sides of the personalities involved still to be heard, the commissioner already suggested that appropriate actions will be taken by his office.
Salud recalled that during the offseason, he visited all 10 teams in practice and "specifically reminded them that fighting has no place in our league because our youth are watching our games."
“Specifically all the teams, all the players were reminded, no fighting. And I guess they know that fighting will be met with the appropriate sanction," Salud said.
Salud said a decision is likely to be made Friday once he hears out all the parties concerned on Thursday, which coincides with a league board meeting.
“As due process requires, they must be heard first before the penalty is handed to them. I hope our fans will understand the procedure that we follow in the league,” added the commissioner.
San Mig’s Marc Pingris and Globalport rookie Kelly Nabong were the central figures in one of the worst fights to happen in the league in years, exchanging punches on San Mig's end of the court as all hell broke loose early in the third quarter of the match which the Mixers went on to win, 102-88.
(For video and story of fight, see Pingris, Nabong face stiff sanctions after trading punches in chaotic PBA game)
Both players were ejected and have been summoned to appear before Salud, who is expected to crack the whip not only on Pingris and Nabong but on several others who got involved in the fight.
San Mig's Joe Devance and Marvin Hayes were assessed technical fouls in the scuffle that started when Hayes and import Marqus Blakely got tangled up and fell to the floor following a fierce loose ball scuffle.
Devance was the first to react when Hayes appeared to kick Blakely in the head, shoving the Globalport new boy to the floor.
Nabong then jumped into the fray as he came to the aid of his teammate, shoving Blakely hard. Pingris then threw a punch at Nabong as the two went at it for several seconds before the fight was finally broken up.
Salud describes the first fight-marred game that happened under his term as "truly lamentable and deplorable."
"Those who are found out to be in breach of the rule will be meted out with the proper sanction," vowed Salud.