24 February 2015

Unforgettable Fines in PBA's History

PBA Fines
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has just slapped a hefty PhP 250,000 fine on Purefoods Star’s 6-foot-9 import Daniel Orton on 20 February 2015 for "issuing comments that are disparaging, disrespectful of and offensive to his host league, the game officials and a fellow player and head coach of a member-team."

"This office disapproves of and frowns upon the cavalier manner in which Mr. Orton issued his comments and the unwarranted antics and liberties he has taken with the league and a fellow player. This insulting behavior will never be condoned by this league," PBA commissioner Chito Salud said in a strongly-worded statement after a 30-minute meeting with the 6-foot-9 Orton at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.

But how does the fine rank against some of the biggest fines in league history in real terms?

In 2012, the PBA fined then Barako Bull Energy big man Don Allado PhP 500,000 and slapped a one-conference ban from any PBA-related activities. The former King Archer out of De La Salle University was penalized by Commissioner Salud after he accused the league of game-fixing in a series of tweets.

Allado's PhP 500k hit to the wallet is one of the largest fine ever levied against a player, but it's not the first time the league has asked for similarly large amounts from erring members of its league.

During the 2009-2010 season, then Burger King Whoppers guard Wynne Arboleda was meted a hefty fine when he assaulted a court-side heckler in a game against Smart-Gilas. He was suspended without pay for the entire season.

It costs Arboleda PhP 2.73 million in lost income. Another PhP 20,000 was added for two flagrant 1 fouls he committed during the game. At the time, the punishment for Arboleda's attack was considered the stiffest ever handed out by the PBA.

In terms of team penalty, another team bearing the Red Bull name, the Red Bull Barako was slapped with a PhP 507,000 fine, when in 2006, head coach Yeng Guiao led a walkout during game four of their semi-final series against the San Miguel Beermen. Of the fine, PhP 400,000 was imposed on the team, while PhP 100,000 came out of Guiao's pocket. The remainder of the amount was shouldered by a player and a team official.

The fiery Guiao may in fact be the most fined individual in the PBA, having had to part with an estimated PhP 800,000 as punishment for a variety of offenses.

Guiao was also responsible for the PBA slapping Rain or Shine (ROS) the biggest fine against a team in the league's 39-year history for their partial walkout in Game 6 of the 2014-2015 Philippine Cup Finals.

Commissioner Salud imposed a PhP 2 million penalty after a meeting with Rain or Shine team owners and Guiao.

"Deeply regrettable as it is, the ROS walkout is hereby penalized the sum of 2 million pesos (PhP 2,000,000.00) for subverting public interest and the integrity of the game. This is a case of a partial walkout which under the rules is defined as the whole team leaving the playing court and returning to continue to play within the allotted time," said Salud in a statement.

It was Guiao who ordered his team to walk out during the second quarter of the match, accusing referees of making one-sided calls in favor of their opponent and eventual Philippine Cup champion San Mig Coffee.

In 2010, another walkout led to a jaw-dropping fine of PhP 1 million, this time, by the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. The Tropa did not finish a game four quarterfinals encounter against Barangay Ginebra after Ranidel de Ocampo was hit with a flagrant 2 foul with 60 seconds left in the first quarter. TNT forfeited the game and went on to lose the series, 2-3.

Back in 1990, another team was fined PhP 550,000, which is probably worth more now due to inflation. The Añejo Rum squad, now known as the Barangay Ginebra Kings, were up 3-2 in their Finals series against Shell Rimula X, when in game six, the team felt that officials were awarding more fouls to their opponents. Things came to a head in the second quarter, when the entire Robert Jaworski-coached Añejo squad walked out. That action not only cost them the aforementioned P550,000, they also had to forfeit the game, which led to Shell lifting the championship trophy.

However, the biggest fine ever issued by the PBA to a team was issued to the Tanduay Rhum Masters. PBA asked for PhP 2.5 million back in 2000, as a result of the team fielding "Fil-Sham" Sonny Alvarado in the All-Filipino Conference.

After a government investigation into the documents of Alvarado revealed that his papers had been faked, Tanduay was forced to forfeit its semi-final games against Purefoods, but not before they got a temporary restraining order to delay the series, the first time the PBA has ever had to delay games due to a court order. The loss in revenue due to missed play dates was what got the fine to reach astronomical levels.

Fined individuals, players, coaches, and also teams, must pay the full amount within 15 days, but where does the money go?

In most cases, part of the money goes to the aggrieved party, usually the team who was walked out on, as was the case in TNT vs BGK in 2010, when they got half of the PhP 1 million fine. The other half usually goes to the Players' Educational Trust Fund, which benefits PBA players and their dependents.

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