SEVEN months after he was suspended without pay for the rest of the season after going after a fan taunting him, guard Wynne Arboleda finally got a reprieve yesterday.
Commissioner Sonny Barrios, saying Arboleda, a member of the 2006-07 Second Mythical selection, had shown "sincere efforts and genuine desire to project a positive and wholesome image to the public, particularly the youth," cut short the veteran playmaker’s suspension, enabling him to rejoin Air21 when the slumping Express clash with the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, this Saturday.
It will be the first official game for Arboleda since the boom was lowered on him by Barrios after he went after a fan during the Air21-Smart Gilas match on Oct. 16, 2009.
Although his suspension had been lifted, however, Barrios fined Arboleda 10 percent of the gross of his monthly salary from May 15 to August 15, 2010, the period remaining in his suspension had it been served in full.
In lifting the suspension, Barrios told Arboleda: "We also take note of your repeated expression of contriteness over the incident and the use of time under suspension in a positive and proactive manner instead of simply being ‘unproductive’ during your suspension."
Arboleda appealed his case to Barrios last March. Included in his appeal letter was an endorsement signed by the team captains of the league’s 10 ball clubs. He was then given a month to submit documentation of his involvement in a number of community activities. The wily Air21 sentinel complied and his appeal was granted.
Arboleda’s return is a welcome development for coach Yeng Guiao and the Express, who are on a seven-game losing streak and languishing in the cellar of the PBA Fiesta Conference with a 1-8 record.
Source: Business Insight Malaya