The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has toughened its rules on erring teams, coaches and players, setting stiffer penalties for teams that would walk out of a game and rookie draftees who would turn their back on the league.
From P500,000, the PBA board decided to raise the fine for walkouts to a whopping P10 million in a bid to deter future incidents.
“Our main priority is the public, who came to watch and enjoy a good game," said PBA chairman Lito Alvarez. “They’re the life blood of the league."
Commissioner Sonny Barrios, who has witnessed three walkouts in the league, including the latest staged by Talk ‘N Text in its quarterfinal series with Ginebra in the ongoing Philippine Cup, believes a walkout is “unacceptable."
“It’s a no-no and definitely, that’s not the kind of thing the fans want to see," said Barrios. “We won’t tolerate such action which is why we believe an action such as this one merits a hefty fine."
Under the amended rules, a team that would walk out of the game would be given 15 minutes to return to the court. The old rules only provided the concerned team with a seven-minute window to report back to action before forfeiting the game.
A team that would leave the court and never return would not only forfeit its match but would also be suspended in its next game.
A squad that would walk out but eventually get back to the court before the allotted time limit would be fined P2 million.
But it wouldn’t be the team alone that would feel the brunt of the new rule as the PBA would now hold concerned coaches responsible for his squad’s walkout.
A coach would face suspension in the team’s the next game once his wards walk out of a match. In the event that the coach walked out of a game but his team decides to continue playing, the mentor will be slapped a P300,000 fine and a one-game suspension.
Whipping erring players
The PBA has witnessed players getting involved in off court melee with fans and to prevent such incident, the pro league would impose a stiff penalty such as the one meted on Wynne Arboleda, who is still serving his suspension until the rest of the season.
Arboleda, the stocky point guard of Air21, punched and kicked Alain Katigbak during his team’s opening game against guest squad Smart-Gilas last October.
The player was suspended without pay, aside from facing possible civil charges from the fan.
Likewise, in the aftermath of an incident at the start of the season that saw controversial top overall pick Japeth Aguilar turning his back on Air21 (then known as Burger King), the PBA has passed a resolution banning future first-round draftees who would do the same.
The 6’9 Aguilar was offered a maximum salary by the Express at the start of the season and was even given a clause in his contract allowing him to play for the national developmental team Smart-Gilas.
After initially declining, the son of former Northern Consolidated and Ginebra player Peter Aguilar eventually agreed to sign up with Burger King. After one game, though, he was shipped to Barako Bull, then to Talk ‘N Text and finally to Gilas, the team he originally intended to play for. - GMANews.TV