Raymond Almazan of Rain Or Shine in a one-on-one with Eric Camson of Kia.     Joey Mendoza

PBA issues summons today
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Three players, who were ejected for roughhousing on disqualifying fouls last Friday and Saturday, will be issued summons by the PBA today to appear before OIC commissioner Willie Marcial at the league office in Pasig this week.

NLEX’ Michael Miranda, Rain Or Shine’s Raymond Almazan and Kia’s Eric Camson will be called in to air their side before Marcial decides on what sanctions to impose. Miranda was thrown out for kicking San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross below the belt with four minutes left in the Beermen’s 109-98 win over the Road Warriors at the Cuneta Astrodome last Friday. Ross was later tossed for incurring two technical fouls after engaging NLEX coach Yeng Guiao in a verbal tussle. Guiao was assessed a technical foul for engaging Ross.

Last Saturday, Almazan and Camson were sent to the showers in the second period of Kia’s 98-94 decision over Rain Or Shine at the Astrodome. It appeared that Camson triggered the melee with an elbow to Almazan’s face. Almazan retaliated with an elbow then punches were exchanged, resulting in both players exiting on flagrant 2 fouls.

Marcial said Ross and Guiao will be spared from visiting the PBA office because their infractions were of a verbal, not physical, nature. Ross told San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria that he blew his top when Guiao called him a “nigger” during an exchange of invectives in front of the NLEX bench. Guiao has denied using the “n” word and said Ross instigated the verbal altercation by repeatedly jawing at the NLEX players and coaching staff. Ross called in sick and skipped practice yesterday.

Marcial said Miranda, Almazan and Camson will be summoned to the PBA office tomorrow or Wednesday. “We’ve got a homecourt tour on Tuesday and we don’t want to schedule a meeting that will take the players out of practice,” said Marcial. “But we’ll definitely call them in this week.” A fine of at least P20,000 awaits the three players. A suspension may be meted out on Marcial’s discretion. Almazan has reached out to Marcial and shown remorse for his participation in the fisticuffs.

Under the PBA’s penalty system, a flagrant 2 foul carries an automatic fine of at least P20,000 with a possible suspension. The fine could be more than P20,000 depending on the gravity of the act and if it is a repeat violation. On flagrant 1 or technical fouls, the first offense in a conference has a fine of P1,000. The second offense escalates to P1,600, the third to P2,400, the fourth to P3,400, the fifth to P4,600 and the sixth to P9,200. From the seventh onwards, the fine will be double than the previous amount but only up to P50,000. A suspension may also be given out on the commissioner’s discretion. A player’s ledger goes back to zero at the start of every conference.

Marcial said in the wake of the ejections, he has instructed the referees to keep in mind the importance of taking control of the game. “We’re allowing more physicality but we’re reminding players that while we’re letting them play with more freedom, there’s a bigger responsibility to play within the rules of engagement,” he said. “Let’s just play basketball. No dirty playing. It’s okay to be emotional, to let the Pinoy gulang and abilidad come out, but let’s check our temper. The referees are aware of what they must do to control the game.”

The new approach to officiating has resulted in raising the level of intensity and excitement in every game with the fans enjoying the flow of the action. After the ejections in the San Miguel Beer-NLEX and Rain Or Shine-Kia games, the referees called it tighter in the Magnolia-Phoenix contest last Saturday. Magnolia was whistled for 26 fouls and took 40 free throws while Phoenix had 32 fouls and 24 free throws. In the Blackwater-GlobalPort game last Friday, the Elite was called for 17 fouls and took 18 free throws while the Batang Pier had 23 fouls and 17 free throws. Since then, three games were played with more fouls called and more free throws taken. In the Rain Or Shine-Kia contest, the Picanto was called for 32 fouls and the Elasto Painters took 34 free throws.

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