NO APPEAL, SAYS SALUD
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) yesterday came down hard on Barako Bull cager Don Allado, slapping him with a fine of P500,000 while banning him for a conference from all PBA-related activities — the stiffest ever meted out on any player or coach in the league’s 37-year history.
League commissioner Chito Salud emerged from a meeting with Allado yesterday at the PBA office and announced the fine which will be divided into P300,000 for the Players Educational Trust Fund and P200,000 for a charitable institution of Allado’s choice. The ban will cover all PBA-related activities, including next season’s opening tournament.
The sanctions leveled against Allado were the stiffest yet against any player or official in that they came with a one-conference ban from the league. Current Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, then Red Bull mentor, was assessed a P500,000 fine in the 2006 Philippine Cup semifinals when he ordered a walkout of their game against San Miguel Beer.
According to Salud, he asked Allado if “in the 13 years of his play, was there anyone who approached him to drop a game or purposely lose a game.”
“And he specifically said, ‘No.’ The PBA constitution is clear that any public statement made by the player or team official which might be detrimental to the league can be sanctioned,” Salud said.
He further warned that “our players just have to exercise the highest level of maturity and sportsmanship. Especially in the heat of competition, these (social media) are powerful and dangerous tools.”
A sullen-looking Allado emerged from the meeting, repentant over the attacks he launched on Twitter Tuesday night against the PBA for allegedly fixing games to favor other teams.
“It was not my intention to blame the PBA. My frustrations got the best of me, frustrations of losing the game, frustration of losing my bonuses, frustrations on my contract. I made a great mistake. The PBA is my home and I would never do anything to harm its name and integrity. This is the best league in Asia,” Allado said.
The game-fixing controversy may yet come at the end of Allado’s career since his current contract with the Energy is set to expire this August.
“Barako management doesn’t tolerate this action. Definitely, there will be sanctions (on Allado),” said Barako Bull alternate governor Raffy Casyao.
Meanwhile, life goes on for the league today with Meralco trying to conjure enough strength to challenge Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine hoping to move a step closer to its first-ever Finals stint against Petron Blaze when the semifinal round starts at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Bolts, who subdued Powerade Wednesday, 94-86, to gain the last semis berth, face the Gin Kings at 5:15 p.m. while the Elasto Painters, way ahead of the pack with an 8-1 win-loss card, test the Boosters in the 7:30 p.m. featured game.
“This is a breakthrough season for us. We’re making headway, we’re in-step to the right direction as getting to be a better and stronger basketball team,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio after his Bolts clinched the last seat in the semis, the first time that the Manuel V. Pangilinan-owned franchise has made it in two seasons with the league.
Gregorio has also ingeniously made a poster boy out of 39-year-old Asi Taulava in rallying his Bolts.
Taulava has been averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds a game in the Conference, numbers that have immensely helped the Bolts to get into the semis.
“Our battlecry right now is ‘win for Asi,’” said Gregorio of the age-less behemoth who may be in his last tournament in the PBA