MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players Jared Dillinger and Gary David of the Meralco Bolts as well as Calvin Abueva of the Alaska Aces were fined by the PBA on Tuesday, January 14 for 'unsportsmanlike conduct.'
Meralco Bolts veteran forward Dillinger and Alaska Aces sophomore forward Abueva were involved in a heated altercation during their January 10 game, which resulted to technical fouls for each of them.
However, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud conducted a thorough review of the game tape on Monday, January 13 and came to the decision of upgrading the technical foul for taunting on Dillinger to flagrant/unsportsmanlike conduct, and likewise upgrading the technical foul on Abueva for second motion to flagrant/unsportsmanlike conduct.
Each of them was fined with P10,000.
The scuffle occured in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as both players got entangled after Abueva swatted away a drive by Dillinger. They both landed on the baseline barricade amid pushing and pulling as momentum took them down. Dillinger immediately held Abueva by the collar in what initially appeared to be a choke, causing referees to intervene and slap each of them with a technical foul. (WATCH: PBA players Dillinger and Abueva get into altercation)
Both Dillinger and Abueva were invited to the Commissioner's Office to state their side of the story on Tuesday, January 14 and both clarified the burning question of whether there was a choke hold by Dillinger or not.
The 30-year old Filipino-American "testified that he grabbed Abueva initially by the jersey" and "denied that he choked Abueva."
Abueva, the energetic 25-year old forward out of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, also "categorically confirmed that he was not choked by Dillinger, he stated that pressure was exerted on his collar bone."
Meanwhile, Bolts shooting guard Gary David was also invited for his statement since he was seen in the footage "raising his right arm with a closed fist toward the direction of the fallen Abueva."
David was fined P5,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct as well.
"As for Gary David, he had no reason to intervene in the incident in question," said the statement released by Commissioner Salud via the PBA's official Facebook account. "He was clearly seen, not in the act of pacifying the parties involved, but instead was shown to have taken a fighting stance that could have exacerbated the incident."
The statement also further details that Abueva has been fined an additional P3,000.
"This office has reviewed Abueva’s proclivity to exaggerate fouls against him and other forms of physical contact in which he is involved," the statement said. "In accordance with this office’s memo on flopping dated July 26, 2013, Abueva is being fined an additional three thousand pesos (Php 3,000.00)."
Dillinger and Abueva have reconciled right after the scuffle as Dillinger even spoke after the game that he had nothing against the 2013 Rookie of the Year. (READ: Dillinger says he has 'nothing against' Abueva)