By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
In one of the most bizarre moments to happen in a basketball game, Coach Eric Gonzales of the Iloilo United Royals barged into the playing court and disrupted the fast-breaking Aris Dionisio of Manila Stars-Frontrow.
Tempers flared up on the court as the Manila coaching staff also came into the picture to defend their player.
The Iloilo coaching staff said Gonzales was just expressing his frustrations to the officials to protest non-calls during the game. Prior to coach Eric’s infraction, Aaron Jeruta of Iloilo made a strong drive to the basket but was met by the physical defense of Chris Bitoon but no foul was called as play continued.
Coach Gonzales’ actions resulted in a fine amounting to 20,000 pesos with a two-game suspension, with technical head George Magsino signing the memo and later on approved by MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.
Duremdes wrote in a statement, “Coaches should respect the game above all, observe true spirit of sponsorship and lead by example. I think the sanction is severe enough. Para huwag gayahin.”
Iloilo will look to add to their three-game winning streak with Nash Racela taking over the head coaching seat.