A LONG suspension awaits the player blamed for triggering the bench-clearing brawl that marred the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals' game and the Mapua Cardinals on Monday night at the San Juan Arena.
A source from the NCAA told Spin.ph that after careful review of footages from one of the worst brawls in college basketball in years, he technical team led by Commissioner Bai Cristobal has recommended a five-game suspension for Cardinals guard Leo Gabo.
Under the league's by-laws, Generals guard John Tayongtong and Gabo both face a three-game ban but the same source revealed that Cristobal wanted a heavier punishment for Gabo, who they found to have instigated the melee.
“Si Gabo kasi three-game suspension lang rin. Pero ang gusto ni commissioner, lima. Kasi siya ang nagsimula ng gulo eh. Wala naman na sana 'yun eh,” said the source who refused to be named.
The NCAA technical team stayed up until past midnight to review video and gather evidence before making the recommendations to the league's management committee.
Aside from Tayongtong and Gabo, also expected to receive three-game suspensions are Generals Sidney Onwubere, John Jamon, Jack Arquero, Edsel Saludo and Ariel Aguilar and Mapua’s Justin Serrano, Exeqiel Biteng and Jomari Tubiano.
“Yan ang mga nagbitaw ng suntok. Sila yung nakita sa video na mga sumuntok,” said the source.
The technical team has also recommended a one-game suspension for those players who were seen inside the court during the free for all.
The source also bared that only six players will be spared from suspensions - EAC’s Jozhua General, Christ Mejos and Faustine Pascual and Mapua’s Jessie Saitanan, Joseph Erioubu and Jeson Cantos.
Referee Pocholo Caoili, the closest to the incident and who fans blame for not whistling an offensive foul on Tayongtong when he bumped Isit, will also receive suspension and possible a fine, according to the source.
Meanwhile, the board will have to decide what will happen to Mapua and EAC’s next games since both teams will not be able to field five players owing to the suspensions.
The Geenrals meet Perpetual Help on Friday while Mapua is set to face Letran on Monday.
“Board na ang magde-decide dun. Pero technically speaking, wala silang players pareho,” said the source.
“Kaso non-bearing na ang mga laro ng dalawang teams na yan eh. Ang Mapua three games na lang ang EAC, dalawang laro na lang. Hindi na nga dapat nangyari yun eh.”