by Jonas Terrado
The PBA Commissioner’s Office reminded its players to act in a professional manner in the aftermath of the indefinite suspension and a total fine of P70,000 handed to controversial Phoenix Pulse star Calvin Abueva.
Abueva was punished for his obscene gesture at Blackwater rookie Ray Parks Jr’s girlfriend Maika Rivera and clothesline tackle on TNT KaTropa import Terrence Jones during Phoenix’s first two games of the Commissioner’s Cup.
The penalty was the stiffest since Willie Marcial was appointed commissioner in Jan. 2018. Abueva had been fined in recent past for flashing a dirty finger multiple times.
“The indefinite suspension of Abueva should serve as a stern warning for him and other players to act as professional athletes and that unbecoming conduct or any act or statement that is prejudicial or detrimental to the PBA will be severely punished,” the league said in a statement.
It is hoped by many within the league circles that the ban will help Abueva amend his ways or at least tone down his reputation as one of the league’s most animated but volatile personalities.
No one was more disappointed with the decision more than Phoenix, which now considers Abueva’s ban as a precedent for future cases.
“While we do not agree with the decision, we have no alternative at the moment except to abide by it,” the team said.
“We no longer wish to comment on the basis of the decision but just expect and hope that incidents like this in the future will be treated similarly and decided the same manner regardless of the player involved.
“This is already a decision precedent that should be used as basis in deciding similar infractions,” it added.
Meanwhile, the league did acknowledge that it missed calling TNT import Terrence Jones a foul for hitting Abueva in the groin area.
Referee Bing Oliva was handed a suspension of 10 game days as a result of the missed call which triggered Abueva to whack Jones on the next play.
Jones was eventually slapped a P50,000 fine plus an additional P20,000 for pushing referee Joel Baldago when he tried to charge Abueva.