A PUNCHING incident marred the women’s game between University of Santo Tomas and Rizal Technological University in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
Lore Rivera and Maica Cortes of UST along with Rica Francisco of RTU were hit with disqualifying fouls by game officials following an incident that sparked a fracas in the highly-physical affair won by the Tigresses, 66-60.
A witness told Spin.ph the game was already physical when Rivera and Francisco exchanged punches in the third quarter after the two made second motions against each another, sparking a melee.
Cortes was also caught punching another RTU player in the commotion that followed.
The witness said a fan also stormed the court and sneaked a kick on an unidentified player at the height of the incident.
When the situation was finally put under control, Rivera, Cortes, and Francisco were ejected by the referees for throwing punches while UST’s Bettina Penaflor, Tin Capilit and Angel Anies were likewise sent off for leaving the bench and entering the court.
After the heated match, Filoil commissioner Ato Badolato issued a one-game suspension on Rivera and Cortes which will take effect come the semifinals.
The absence of the two comes at a crucial time since the Tigresses are set to face the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in the Final Four on June 4.
Rivera contributed 18 points and 13 rebounds for the the Espana-based school before being ejected.
The Lady Thunders finished their campaign winless in four outings.