By Waylon Galvez and Jonas Terrado
San Miguel Beer’s management Wednesday announced the indefinite suspensions on erring players Arwind Santos, Kelly Nabong and Ronald Tubid after a fight broke out during the team’s practice session last Nov. 17.
In a statement released Wednesday, the SMB management mentioned that while the conflict has already been resolved, the unsportsmanlike behavior of the three were not to be tolerated.
“Basketball is a physical game where emotions can run high,” said part of the statement. “But we believe that PBA players have to be held to a higher standard of professionalism and sportsmanship at all times.”
“It is for this reason that we’ve come to this decision, even if it impacts our bid for a second franchise grand slam. Our commitment now, moving forward, is that we will work doubly hard and play our very best, for our fans and for the organization.”
Wells escaped penalty from the team.
It was last Sunday when news came out that Santos and SMB import Dez Wells had to be separated after the later was knocked down on a the former’s hard pick during a scrimmage.
The two had to be separated, but while teammates were successful in pacifying them, Tubid punched Wells that led to Nabong charging at Tubid in retaliation for what he did on Wells.
ROS coach rues late arrival of import
Meantime, Rain or Shine, Phoenix Pulse and Blackwater were left to ponder on the shortcomings that contributed to an early end to their respective 2019-20 PBA campaign that saw some brief promises.
The aforementioned teams were the first to bid adieu after disappointing runs in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
But there were times that the Elasto Painters, Fuel Masters and Elite showed glimpses of belief that they can contend for the ultimate prize.
No one had more opportunities than Rain or Shine, which reached the semifinals in the season’s first two conferences only to be derailed by Magnolia in the Philippine Cup and San Miguel Beer in the Commissioner’s Cup.
ROS was aiming to make it three in a row but encountered problems securing an import who be provided the right fit, resulting in a 1-5 record.
Joel Wright and Kayel Locke failed to impress coach Caloy Garcia, Kwame Alexander had to leave after an ankle injury before Rich Ross powered the Elasto Painters to back-to-back wins at the end of the eliminations for a 4-7 record.
But an inferior quotient left Rain or Shine to map out initial plans for its Christmas party.
“Sayang, sana maaga siya dumating,” Garcia lamented.
Phoenix appeared to have risen into one of the league’s top teams after a semifinal appearance in the Philippine Cup. However, the indefinite suspension of Calvin Abueva in the early part of the Commissioner’s Cup set the Fuel Masters back, resulting in playoff absences in the next two conferences.
“Super, super disappointed,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas after its elimination from the Governors’ Cup playoff race. “Pero you have to think. also na ang dami rin nangyari. Yung mga bagay na yun, di ko control e.”
Blackwater turned things around after a lousy Philippine Cup by placing third in the eliminations behind debuting coach Aris Dimaunahan and star rookie Ray Parks Jr. before being eliminated by Rain or Shine in the quarters.
But instead of going another notch higher, the Elite slumped to a 2-3 record before deciding to trade key players Mike DiGregorio and Allein Maliksi to TNT KaTropa and Meralco.
Then, the Elite sent Parks to TNT, further adding to Blackwater’s six-game skid to end the campaign.
“Dito sa conference na nagdaan, ang daming nangyari na medyo nahirapan kami mag-adjust dahil sa mga changes,” Dimaunahan said. “Pero yun yung challeneg sa amin as being coaches, kung paano maje-gel kaagad yung team in a short span of time.”