MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Office has imposed a lifetime ban on Cagayan Valley Rising Suns head coach Alvin Pua along with a P500,000 fine for striking referee Benjie Montero during a PBA D-League game.
The league announced in a statement on Friday, May 15, that Pua has received a lifetime ban “from all PBA related activities for mauling a referee and for his recalcitrant and incorrigible demeanor.”
The half-a-million fine was given for Pua’s “dastardly act,” according to the statement from PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.
Pua assaulted Montero during his team’s game against the Liver Marin Guardians on Thursday, May 14, towards the end of the first half. The referee received a wound on his face following punches and a thrown elbow by Pua and was brought to a hospital.
According to reports, Pua, whose team was up 47-41, was unhappy with a warning call Montero gave the head coach after he disagreed on another call.
Pua was summoned to the PBA office on Friday but did not show up, with Rising Suns team manager Frederic Collado and an assistant coach representing him instead.
This isn’t the first time Pua was involved in a physical confrontation with a referee, nor is it the first occasion he didn’t show up to a summoning by the PBA office.
Collado, who after Cagayan’s game against Liver Marin said that it was the arrogance of Montero that led to Pua’s assault, was fined P20,000 by the PBA for his comments.
“Said assertions made in public are punishable under league rules prohibiting any official or player of a member-ballclub from issuing statements deemed inimical and/or prejudicial to the interests of the league,” the PBA said in its statement.
The PBA also said that it will assist Montero in any civil or criminal action he plans to take against Pua for the injuries he sustained. The league also plans to forward its punishment on Pua to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), suggesting that the coach be banned from all SBP-sanctioned tournaments.
“We view this latest act of Coach Pua to be despicable and offensive to the sensibilities of all sports stakeholders and aficionados. It lays waste to the concept of sportsmanship and is a complete breakdown in a coach's responsibility to do what is right for the sport and the fans,” the PBA said.