29 July 2016

Is Something Amiss in the Asi Taulava Suspension?

Asi Taulava
Sports writer Snow Badua just wrote an interesting piece about the possibility that the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) may have erred in its recent decision to suspend Asi Taulava, NLEX Rowad Warriors' slotman.

It will be recalled that last 22 July the 42-year old Fil-Tongan slapped San Miguel forward David Semerad in their Governors Cup game. Penalties were expected, but it appears that the PBA commissioner took his time before handing out a one game and fined Taulava him a total of PhP 32,500.

Majority of the fine or PhP 20,000, covers the flagrant foul penalty 2 Taulava committed for the slap on Semerad, while PhP 10,000 was for joining the fracas instead of pacifying the protagonists. The remaining PhP 2,500 was for the technical foul he committed for second motion.

What was surprising and strategically timed was the decision was handed down less than 24 hours before the Road Warriors' game against the popular Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, which was scheduled on 27 July.

What this means is that NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez had to go back to the drawing board and revised all of the team's plays as the burly Fil-Tongan will no longer be part of the rotation for the 7:00 P.M. encounter at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coincidental or was it a deliberate attempt to undermine the preparation of NLEX and ensure that they will be unprepared to take on Ginebra? If taken as a separate incident, then there is a possibility that there was no malice in the decision. However, if the other facts are considered, a cloud of doubt is definitely not far behind.

Further checking by Badua revealed that Taulava's suspension was announced on the PBA's official website only on 26 July evening and was placed below the entry on the penalties assessed Alaska Aces' Calvin Abueva, who was also hit with a one-game ban and fined PhP 22,000 for an elbow to Chris Ellis' face in the Ginebra-Alaska game on last 24 July.

The NLEX-San Miguel game that was marred by the Taulava-Semerad scrap took place two days earlier, or on Friday night. This means that the Taulava decision should have been made before that of Abueva's.

It appears that something is going on to sabotage some teams in favor of a select few or those that some PBA officials are bias for whatever reason. This deserves further examination from independent bodies who are not easily blinded by team fanaticism.

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