Mendoza: SMC bigger than anything in PBA affairs-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
IF San Miguel Corp. (SMC) felt hurt, me weeps, too.
SMC had made it known it didn’t like the decision of Commissioner Salud of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) imposing a lifetime ban on Renaldo Balkman from playing in the PBA as a Petron import.
Salud did that by way of punishing Balkman, who went on a rampage after he disagreed with a referee’s call last week during the Petron-Alaska game (Alaska won).
Balkman turned from bum to beast, berating the referees and, strangely enough, his teammates and his coaches. He even choked his teammate, Arwind Santos.
Salud found that unacceptable and gave the boot to Balkman on top of a P250,000 fine.
Before Salud came up with his decision, Robert Non, the PBA chairman and head of SMC’s basketball operations, publicly accepted the apology of Balkman.
“We are giving him a second chance,” Non said.
Santos, who was actually at the receiving end of Balkman’s mini-display of physical violence, also forgave the Puerto Rican in public, saying, “We all make mistakes and so, I am also forgiving him.”
All of that went for naught as Salud proceeded to kick Balkman out of the league.
“I cannot condone such kind of violence, which he did in full view of the crowd, on live TV,” said Salud. “I did what I did to protect the integrity of the league, of the fans. Such conduct unbecoming has no place in the PBA.”
In short, Salud, seemingly, doesn’t believe in second chances.
That’s what obviously got the goat of SMC, forcing the lone remaining co-founder of the league to say that it was “reevaluating its involvement in the PBA.”
And so, will SMC, one of 10 or so teams that established the PBA in 1975, soon bolt the loop?
I honestly pray it won’t.
While SMC may have found Salud’s decision unpalatable as it even ran counter with SMC’s lofty “forgive-the-guy” pitch, humbly, I will find it rather incorrect if Ramon S. Ang, the SMC top gun, would yield to a mob rule and suddenly pack up.
One unsavory verdict should not obliterate the sterling record of a franchise built painstakingly through almost four decades.
Be calm. The storm will pass.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2013.