Air21 enforcer Ogie Menor faces a suspension and stiff fines after his flagrant foul on Meralco import Mario West led to his ejection in their ill-tempered PBA Governors Cup game on Wednesday.
West was side-stepping towards the lane in the third quarter when Menor came from behind and hacked the import to the ground, leading to his automatic ejection for a flagrant foul 2.
Although cooler heads prevailed to prevent the incident from escalating, West had to be restrained by teammates after he sought out Air21's acknowledged' 'bad boy' at the end of the match.
The 6-5 import jumped over the railings separating the entrances to the two dugouts at the Big Dome and rushed to the Air21 locker room. Menor was no longer there since, according to teammates, he went out for coffee.
On his way out, the import was met by the whole Air21 team led by Wynne Arboleda, leading to a shoving match.
Menor is set to appear before Commissioner Chito Salud. West has also been summoned to appear at the Commissioner's Office the next day.
“The referees have assessed him a penalty and I have to review it tomorrow,” Salud said. “I have to be more precise and objective about his punishment. That’s the purpose of the review.”
According to league officials, a flagrant foul 2 carries an automatic one-game ban and a P20,000 fine. But sanctions are expected to be higher since it was Menor's third ejection of the season.
And judging from Salud's mood after the game, Menor better brace for the worst.
Asked if he is sick and tired of meeting with Menor, Salud said: “Before I get sick and tired [of him], the players who come in will be the first ones to get sick and tired with the punishments that will be given to them.”
Menor was last ejected in the Philippine Cup in a game against Rain or Shine where he clapped sarcastically toward Painters coach Yeng Guiao. He was fined P20,000 for his action.
He was also involved in a verbal tussle with affable Ginebra assistant coach Allan Caidic in March.
Menor later turned to Twitter to explain his side. Responding to Ginebra star Kerby Raymundo @imkr21 , the former San Beda star tweeted: "Wala nmn kuya ang hinabol ko ung bola kase palay up n cia saka ang linaw nmn sa replay."
But Twitter was soon deluged with anger at Menor's 'dirty play,' with West's fellow import Jason Forte @IAMJFORTE of Alaska tweeting: "Menor does it again! The dirty, trashy play continues with him. That's not basketball! U can get a guy off the street that can do better."
B-Meg's Joe Devance @jdv_38 said: "Why is Menor even in the PBA?” what kinda foul was that!!!!!"
Tweets from West's agent, Sheryl Reyes, were not fit enough to print.
However, Menor's teammate at Air21, Paolo Hubalde @phubalde, pleaded his case, tweeting,"Ogie menor is not a bad person..dont bash him like that."
On the other hand, Powerade's Sean Anthony @SeanAnthony_10, anticipating a suspension for Menor, tweeted: "Guess that flagrant 2 means gary won't be taking any cheap shots from menor as he usually does to him this friday."
The flagrant foul also meant Menor had lost a bet with Raymundo who tweeted: "We have agreement kasi pag wala sya technical this conf. treat ko sya dinner 3 times kahit saan Nya gusto, 3 games nalang eh."