26 January 2015

Fight-Marred PBA Tune-Up Games

PBA Fights
Seven days. Three tune-up games. Three brawls. Three unfinished matches for six teams.

Is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) trying to set a more physical tone in its games or it is a simple case of trying to generate publicity because of its dwindling popularity?

No official announcements lately to explain any rule changes, but after three fight-marred matches in as many tune-up games, it appears that physical plays are going to be allowed more freely starting this coming Commissioner’s Cup.

The first incident occurred a few days ago when guards Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort and Ginebra’s Eman Monfort traded punches in a tune-up match, prompting the Office of the Commissioner to mete out fines of PhP 30,000 on both players.

On 22 January, Barako Bull’s Dorian Pena and KIA Motors guard Joshua Webb nearly came to blows at the Green Meadows gym, prompting another game stoppage.

The latest fight featured Purefoods Star big man Yousef Taha who literally punched Rain or Shine import Rick Jackson during a rebound battle, triggering a commotion between the two teams in a practice game at the Ronac Gym in San Juan last 23 January.

What is the PBA trying to prove by allowing these fights to occur? Why was the incident not mitigated during the early stages of the game?

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, who rushed quickly to stop Jackson from going after Taha, said the fights show that PBA officiating in tune-up matches is a 'problem' that needs to be addressed.

"It’s (fights in the tune-up games) been happening too often, na palagay ko, may problema na ang liga at officiating in itself," Guiao said, shaking his head in dismay.

Will the fans expect their hardcourt heroes to be more aggressive and unforgiving when it comes to battling for ball possession or this is an example of how incompetent the referees employed by the PBA to control the game early on?

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