ALFRED Aroga clarified he was not throwing the ball to hurt a fan at the University of the Philippines gallery during the fourth quarter of National University’s match on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Aroga was warned by the referees with 2:50 left in the game for inciting the crowd after the ball that was in his possession found its way courtside at the general direction of UP fans.
The NU big man, however, made it clear he had no intentions of throwing the ball at a particular fan even as the incident was replayed on television and seen at the big screen of the Mall of Asia Arena scoreboard.
“It’s no big deal. I had the ball and someone pushed me behind. I was just passing the ball, like I want to pass the ball to the fan and give it back. I didn’t throw the ball to him. I don’t think I’m that kind of player,” he said.
Nevertheless, Aroga apologized to the fan to avoid any misinterpretation.
“I went in there and I apologized because I didn’t want it to be an issue. I’m not that kind of player that I have a bad intention. I had the ball, gave it to the fan, and I want him to get it back to me. I was not throwing the ball at him,” said Aroga.
For his part, UAAP commissioner Rebo Saguisag said an act likely to offend or incite spectators is penalized with a technical foul.
Saguisag, however, felt the referees didn’t see anything “flagrant” from that throwing action.
“(I) haven’t reviewed but it didn’t appear that flagrant that’s probably why the refs merely warned (Aroga),” said Saguisag.
Meantime, Aroga finished with seven points but grabbed 13 rebounds in the 80-69 victory by the Bulldogs.
Aroga said he concentrated on getting the rebounds for this match and it paid off as Matt Salem and JV Gallego combined for 48 points and four triples in the contest.
“I thought I want to change my game a bit today. I was always going for the rebound. I want them to have more attempts and help them as much as I can,” said Aroga.