UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas figured in a bench-clearing brawl against Enderun College on Sunday during the 2019 Breakdown Basketball Invitational at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Eyewitness accounts bared the Titans' Mike Dela Cruz punched Growling Tigers guard Brent Paraiso after the latter bodied him up in an inbound pass early in the third quarter, resulting in a melee that emptied both benches.
Paraiso suffered a busted eyebrow in the ensuing skirmish while three Enderun players- namely Mike Dela Cruz, Joaqui Mariano, and Francisco Tancioco - were all hospitalized following the incident, sources bared.
Officials from both teams declined to comment on the issue when reached by SPIN.ph.
Even before the free-for-all, the game was already heated, especially given the history between the two teams.
Enderun, carrying the name of FamilyMart, dealt Ironcon-UST a shock 81-74 defeat in the 2019 PBA D-League last May 23 which not only dashed the Growling Tigers' hopes of clinching the No. 2-seed in the Aspirants Group but also eliminated them from the playoff race.
The Titans played with only eight players, with majority of their Team A players including top guard Valandre Chauca currently on a break.
Meanwhile, the Growling Tigers had a full roster for the game, although coach Aldin Ayo alternated between fielding players from his Teams A and B for the tournament.