Wednesday, December 17, 1975
8 cagers in ‘basketbrawl’ are punished (Dec. 17, 1975)
Oscar Rocha, Big Boy Reynoso and Philip Cezar were given lengthy suspensions by PBA Commissioner Leo Prieto for their participation in a pair of brawls that happened in Game 5 of the 1975 All-Philippine Championship.
8 PBA cagers in ‘basketbrawl’ are punished
By Ding Marcelo
Published Thursday December 18, 1975
Two players from Toyota and one from Crispa were fined P1,000 each and suspended from four and one-half to nine months yesterday while five others drew various fines in wide-ranging punitive action by the Philippine Basketball Association following the tumultuous Crispa-Toyota title match last Sunday.
The punishments were the severest ever meted out by the association since its foundation almost a year ago. PBA Commissioner Leo Prieto expressed the hope that the players, as well as their managers and coaches, would come to their senses and avert a repetition of that riotous evening “for the good of the sport.”
Toyota’s Oscar Rocha, who has slowly gained the reputation as the league’s “bad boy,” drew the hardest penalty - a nine-month suspension starting Dec. 15 up to Sept. 15, 1976, and a P1,000-fine for triggering off the first of the evening’s riots.
Teammate Alberto Reynoso was likewise fined P1,000 and suspended for four and one-half months, also effective Dec. 15 for “chasing and raining blows on Rodolfo Soriano” while Crispa’s Philip Cezar was meted the same penalties for hitting Ramon Fernandez “while his back was turned and about to retrieve the ball” in the dying seconds of the game.
Suspended players cannot play in the PBA tournament, as well as others, for the duration of the suspension period. Thus, Cezar, originally selected as part of the PBA-Ovaltine selection will not be able to see action in the three-game exhibition series starting Saturday.
Others who drew fines but were not suspended were Toyota players Cristino Reynoso, P500 for punching Soriano; Fernandez , P500 for ganging up on William Adornado and exchanging blows with Cezar and Joaquin Rojas, Jr., P100 for throwing the ball at Cezar.
Aside from Cezar, other Crispa players penalized were Alberto Guidabe, P100 for snatching a policeman’s nightstick and then menacingly waiting for a Toyota player to come his way, and Soriano, P500-fine for exchanging blows with Rocha.
Adornado, who also was summoned by Prieto, was cleared of any offense “for explaining properly to Prieto his part during the evening’s free-for-all.”
The fines and suspensions cam only a day after Prieto imposed a P10,000 fine each on the Crispa and Toyota teams in view of what he said was the failure of the officials of both clubs to control the behavior of their players.
The P10,000-fine which is appealable, also compasses the transgressions made by players from both sides who entered the court during the height of the melee.
In handing out the harshest punishment against Rocha, Prieto took account of his record which showed him to have been fined four times in the past and suspended for one month when he hit Crispa player Bernard Fabiosa during the May 10 Crispa-Toyota encounter.
Rocha also was cited by the PBA for having returned to the court after Prieto had earlier asked him to refrain from doing so since the referees had thrown him out of the game.
“Big Boy” Reynoso had two previous records of fines, one of them amounting to P500 when he “intentionally hit James Cornelious of the then visiting US NCAA selection” last Aug. 19.
Cezar was fined three times, two of them in the amount of P100, last Aug. 23 when he was thrown out of thre game also against the US NCAA team and last Sept. 6, when he elbowed John Terry of Tanduay.