By Jonas Terrado
The PBA Commissioner’s Office fined NLEX coach Yeng Guiao P11,000 for his actions during a heated exchange with San Miguel star Chris Ross in Friday’s game but found no evidence proving that the fiery mentor uttered a racial slur at the Fil-American guard.
Officer-In-Charge Willie Marcial said in a statement that the league couldn’t prove claims by the San Miguel camp that Guiao threw the “N-word” at Ross in the altercation that occurred with 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Beermen’s 109-98 victory at the Cuneta Astrodome.
“Upon review of the incident, consulting possible witnesses to the event and discussing the matter with both parties, the alleged racist remark attributed to Coach Guiao could not be established,” Marcial said. “Coach Guiao has denied such allegation while Chris Ross has opted to move forward and said that he would not want to discuss the matter further.”
Guiao repeatedly denied using the slur which is considered derogatory among black people while Ross posted an Instagram story containing the words “Racism is never justifiable” moments after the exchange.
Marcial, however, added that the league won’t hesitate handing down harsh punishments to players or coaches who will be caught using racial remarks in the future.
“Let me reiterate that racism has no place in the PBA. It is totally unacceptable in our society and in sports in general. The PBA will not hesitate to act if the evidence so warrants,” said the league’s interim head.
Guiao, however, was obligated to pay the fine for “obscene gesture, use of profane language and engaging in a verbal altercation.” as clearly seen on video.
He appeared to have shouted the words “son of a b****” at Ross multiple times before flashing the dirty finger when cooler heads prevailed.
Ross, meanwhile, was fined P2,600 for two technical fouls – the first from a separate incident with NLEX’s Alex Mallari – and his part in the Guiao exchange.
The sanctions on Guiao and Ross are the first of a series of punishments Marcial is expected to hand down after several heated exchanges marred the recent games of the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Marcial will meet NLEX’s Michael Miranda, Kia’s Eric Camson and Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan Tuesday to explain their involvements in separate incidents.
Miranda kicked Ross in the groin minutes during the NLEX-San Miguel game while Camson and Almazan were ejected in the second quarter of their game Saturday when they traded elbows during a rebound battle.