EMILIO Aguinaldo College team captain Francis Munsayac denied reports his teammates started the fight against Perpetual Help players at the parking lot of The Arena in San Juan following their match in the NCAA Season 91 on Tuesday.
Raymond Pascua and Sidney Onwubere were said to have attacked Perpetual Help’s Niko Cabiltes but Munsayac said it was the other way around, saying the EAC players needed to defend themselves because they were outnumbered.
Cabiltes, Pascua, and EAC’s Jeric Diego were ejected late in the game during the Altas' 89-59 victory over the Generals following an altercation that later spilled outside The Arena in San Juan.
Munsayac said that according to Pascua and Onwubere, several Perpetual Help players were already waiting for them as they made their way out of the arena.
“Tinawagan ko si Sidney (after the fight), tinanong ko kung ano nangyari. Sabi niya, ’Napaaway kami. Loko ’yung mga taga-Perpetual. Hinintay kami sa labas.’”
“Lumagpas na si Sidney tsaka si Pascua tapos sabi ni Sidney sa akin, ang nagsalita daw si (GJ) Ylagan tapos sabi na, ‘Tama na bro, wag mo na patulan.’ Parang may balak talaga ’yung Perpetual na anuhin si Pascua.
“Siyempre, si Sidney, narinig ’yun. Siya rin nagsalita, parang sabi niya, ‘Ano ba problema? Ano ba nangyari?’ Biglang parang hindi niya malaman kung sino nagsabi pero sabi daw, ‘Ang yayabang niyo kasi.’ Sabi ni Sidney, ‘Paano kami naging mayabang eh naglalakad na nga kami payuko, kayo nag-abang diyan.’”
Munsayac said it then that Cabiltes attacked, adding that Pascua and Onwubere had no choice but to defend themselves since they were outnumbered.
“’Yung Cabiltes, sumusugod siya. Na-provoke siya. Siyempre, iba na ‘yun eh. Marami sila tapos dalawa lang sila. Iba na ’yung dating lalo na dalawa lang sila,” said Munsayac.
“Tinawagan ko si Pascua, sabi niya nasapak daw siya,” he added.
Munsayac, who was near the players, coaches, and officials entrance door of the San Juan Arena when the incident occurred, said he even heard Barako Bull assistant coach Art de la Cruz, whose son Art was playing for San Beda in the second game, telling something to the Perpetual Help players after the melee.
“After ng gulo, narinig ko ’yung dad ni Art. Galit siya. Ang inintindi ko, ‘Talo na nga ‘yung mga bata, ginaganyan niyo pa,’” Munsayac claimed.
Munsayac said he was hurt by reports that they were the ones who started the brawl which happened almost exactly a year after EAC and Mapua were involved in a free-for-all that led to suspensions from 17 players and three referees.
“Nagalit ako kasi ako ’yung kuya nila, tapos nabasa ko na kami daw ’yung nag-abang. Paano kami mag-aabang, magkakasunod kami lumabas tapos maski ako nakita ko sa labas na nag-aabang sila,” said Munsayac.
“Hindi naman sa pinagtatanggol ko sila pero ’yun ’yung totoo,” he said.
As of now, due to their ejection, Pascua, Diego, and Cabiltes received an automatic one-game suspension by the NCAA but is still facing sanctions from the brawl outside the San Juan venue.
The NCAA will conduct an investigation on the matter with Munsayac confirming that Pascua, Onwubere, and Diego will air their side to league officials.