PBA commissioner Chito Salud cracked the whip on erring players during Game 3 of the Alaska-Talk `N Text Philippine Cup semifinals by slapping a total of P45,400 in fine, including P30,000 on marquee player Cyrus Baguio.
The Alaska star was the heaviest recipient of the penalty for committing a flagrant foul 2 penalty by hitting Jayson Castro of Talk `N Text in the face with his forearm during a fastbreak sequence midway in the fourth quarter.
Baguio, however, was spared from an automatic one-game suspension and will see action in Game 4 Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“After carefully reviewing the FFP2 (flagrant foul penalty 2) called on Cyrus Baguio and weighing his explanation of the circumstances leading to the flagrant foul, this office is upholding the flagrant foul called on him and is fining him the amount of P30,000.00,” Salud said in an official statement after personally meeting Baguio at his office Thursday afternoon.
“No suspension is being meted out in this particular case after taking into consideration Baguio's explanation that he was indeed going to give Jason Castro a hard foul, but realized at the last instant that he no longer had the chance to play for the ball,” added the commissioner.
Two other Aces in rookie Calvin Abueva and Gabby Espinas bore the brunt of the total fines. Abueva was penalized for P7.4 K on grounds of technical foul for second motion (P2.4K) and flagrant foul 1 (P5 K), while Espinas was fined P5 K for flagrant foul 1.
Called for technical fouls for second motion and a corresponding P1K fine were Alaska’s Sonny Thoss, and Talk `N Text’s Jarred Dilinger and Kelly Williams. Williams' technical foul, however, was committed last Dec. 21.
Baguio told Spin.ph in an earlier interview that he was trying to go for the ball, but because Castro was ahead of him, the TNT guard was instead, hit on the face.
Salud also stated that Baguio had no “blatant follow through of his arm on Castro’s face”.
“It was decidedly sheer momentum on his (Baguio) part that largely caused the hard contact on Castro. Nonetheless, this office stands by the FFP2 call for being unnecessary and excessive and fines Baguio,” explained the PBA commissioner.
Game 3 had been marred by several physical plays that led to various technical and flagrant fouls called on both Alaska and Talk `N Text.
Coaches Norman Black and Luigi Trillo said they are hoping for officiating to improve in the succeeding games of the best-of-seven series.