Fresh from the PBA Mailing List:
The Philippine Basketball Association yesterday handed down its severest penalty to date, suspending veteran Burger King guard Wynne Arboleda without pay for the rest of the 2009-10 Season.
Arboleda, who was earlier called for his second flagrant foul in the game, went after a heckler at courtside during the WhoppersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ game against Smart-Gilas at the Araneta Coliseum last Friday, landing a kick and some punches before being restrained by cooler heads.
The suspension means P2.73 million in lost income for Arboleda, not counting won game, advancement and player award bonuses. For committing two flagrant fouls penalty 1 in the game, the nine-year PBA veteran also drew a P20,000 fine and a one-game suspension which will be served on Wednesday in their game against the San Miguel Beermen.
In his decision letter sent to Arboleda, PBA commissioner Renauld Barrios said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“As we pointed out to you, even granting that said fan was foul-mouthed and verbally abusive as confirmed by reports to us, there is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“lineÃ¢â‚¬Â that a PBA player cannot and should not cross: to physically harm a fan.
Coming just a few months after two separate incidents involving players and fans, commissioner Barrios said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“your serious breach of this Ã¢â‚¬Å“lineÃ¢â‚¬Â at this time and in the manner described herein endangers the PBA as being perceived by the public as unwholesome and not deserving of fan support.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The PBA Commissioner ended his letter by saying a repeat of the same or similar act will result in a lifetime ban from the league.
Barrios, who met with Arboleda yesterday morning at the PBA CommissionerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Office in Libis, added that the PBA must send a strong signal that such an unwanted act has no place in the league and will never be taken lightly, stressing that the fansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ interest is always the leagueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s primordial concern as established by PBA forefathers over the years.
While serving his suspension, Arboleda cannot be present at the playing venues during Burger KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s games.
As a contracted PBA player even while suspended, Arboleda likewise may not play in any other league.
And that’s that, the guy’s out for the year.
Some of the comments I’ve seen around the ‘net are asking for a lifetime ban, but I think this will suffice. I actually like him as a player and it’d be too much of a waste to see him not play anymore due to what appears to be a relatively isolated incident, regardless of how violent it turned out. Apparently he’s going to lose 2.73M in salaries ++, and I dunno about you but DAMMN that’s gotta hurt.
So all’s well and over with right? Well, no. I’m not sure if it’s been resolved yet, but that Katigbak individual filed, I’m assuming, an assault case against him, and that’ll need to be resolved as well (unless it has been, pardon my ignorance).
And finally, there’s the issue of what the PBA is gonna do against situations like this in the future. Issues like: What was Mr. Katigbak saying / screaming at him, for how long was he doing it and did anyone (officials and security alike) realize that a potentially violent situation was about to ensue? Like I said the last time I wrote about this, I find it hard to believe no one else realized this was gonna happen; particularly the refs, who’s job it is to have a pulse on what’s going on on the floor. If Mr. Katigbak had been making a nuisance of himself enough for Arboleda to go Steven Segal on him, how could the rest of the people not notice, and stop it before it happened?
Doubt if we’re gonna find the answer to that though, meaning that yes, I think it can most likely happen again. And let’s face it, it actually helps the PBA ratings wise even a little bit, you can’t deny that.