ALASKA team owner Wilfred Uytengsu expressed disappointment over the PBA's decision not to suspend Magnolia guard Mark Barroca for his closed-fist hit on Chris Banchero, saying the logic behind the reprieve was flawed.
Commissioner Willie Marcial on Thursday fined Barroca P50,000 for the blow to Banchero's groin late in Game Four of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals but stopped short of meting a ban, saying there is no precedent of a player getting suspended for an infraction that the referees failed to call.
“Si Barroca kasi rineview namin ‘yung game, non-call. So non-call, tinanong ko kung may precedent, walang precedent,” Marcial told reporters. “From non-call to suspension, wala kaming makitang precedent … Pag natawagan ‘yun wala tayong problema.”
Uytengsu, however, begged to disagree, saying the technicality which Marcial cited to grant Barroca a reprieve 'lacks merit.'
"Of course we are disappointed with the commissioner's decision not to suspend Barroca for his closed-fist strike to Banchero's groin but it is the excuse that there was a "non-call" that led to his decision," the former league chairman told SPIN.ph.
"Such a technicality lacks merit," he added.
The outspoken Alaska owner also cast doubt on the absence of a precedent as claimed by Marcial, asking the league to look into the 'phantom punch' incident between former Ginebra playing-coach Robert Jaworski and then Purefoods player Jojo Lastimosa back in 1989.
According to various accounts, the punch to Lastimosa's solar plexus was seen in television replays but was not spotted by the referees. Former commissioner Rudy Salud suspended Jaworski for one game after a review.
"If my memory serves me right, Jaworski was subsequently suspended after a review of his punching Lastimosa in the stomach the day after also involving a 'non-call,'" Uytengsu said.
Still, Uytengsu said the Aces will always aspire to 'win with integrity' as the season-ending best-of-seven championship heads to Game Five at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday all tied at 2-all.
"Nevertheless, we will honor the game and advocate for fair play to win with integrity," he said.