WHAT was a relatively uneventful NCAA men’s basketball match between Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano on Saturday turned action-packed an endgame when a commotion ensued between the Generals’ Sidney Onwubere and the Chiefs’ James Forrester.
Witnesses claim Forrester hit Onwubere with a cheap shot in the mid-section when the two crossed paths as both teams retreated to the bench at the final buzzer of a game the Generals won, 79-63, at The Arena in San Juan.
According to other witnesses, as both players were restrained, Onwubere raised his middle finger toward an enraged Forrester, who tried to charge toward the EAC forward only to be stopped by the Arena bouncers.
“Maraming kine-claim `yung kabilang kampo…but I saw Forrester hit Sidney dito sa stomach,” Generals coach Gerry Esplana said. “Pinigilan ko na. Hindi mo na ma-control `yung iba.”
“Pero I don’t know,” Esplana added. “Before daw nun, nag-retaliate daw siya (Forrester) na meron daw player ko na nag-hit sa kanya. Pero `yun (hit kay Onwubere) lang nakita ko.”
Arellano players and coaches could not be reached for comment as the team had already left the premises earlier than usual.
The commotion seemed to have stemmed from a late play where an obviously frustrated Forrester, who had an off-night and finished with just two points on 1-of-9 shooting on top of five turnovers in 29 minutes of play, blocked Edcel Saludo.
Saludo was allegedly shoved by the Chiefs’ Zach Nicholls in a sequence that sparked trash-talking among players.
Management committee chairman Dax Castellano said the league will wait for the report of the Commissioner’s Office before making a decision on possible suspensions.