IN an unprecedented decision, Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy meted heavy penalties on the players involved in the bench-emptying incident in a Cordova high school pre-season tournament last Sunday.

Tiukinhoy based his decision on the players of both the University of the Visayas (UV) and the Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) on the incident report filed by his deputy commissioner Danny Duran and referee Jebrel Calma.

“There was a bench-clearing brawl between UV and DBTC high school players. Based on the incident report of Duran and Calma, 10 players from UV and 10 players from DBTC are suspended for the rest of the Cordova tournament,” Tuikinhoy said in a letter addressed to UV team manager Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas and DBTC principal Fr. Jerome Mario Dublois.

Aside from the 20 players who were engaged in a free-for-all, two more players were thrown out for unsportsmanlike conduct when the game resumed.

Tiukinhoy meted out a total of P110,000 in penalties—at P5,000 per player--and 88 hours of community service.

The Cesafi commissioner cited Sec. 4 of the rules and regulations on conduct of players, coaches and officials, which slaps a season-long suspension to the guilty parties, and on sec. 5 for the penalties that include an automatic suspension, cash penalty and community service.

Those who were suspended for the rest of the Cordova pre-season tournament are Raul Jancork Cabahug, Kenneth Brillo, Marvin Oche, Jhiey Paraldo, Bayaton, Escobar, Umandac, Loyola, Jecuanggao and Macabane of UV and Jeremy Quilantang, Juan Miguel De la Torre, Jan Joshen Mangaron, Rommel Jumao-as, John Benedick Damolo, Francis Christian Tado, Jomari James Ranoco, Grenar Malubay, Vince Macam and Christian Boyboy of Don Bosco.

Ejected for unsportsmanlike foul and suspended for one game in the Cordova competition are Beirn Anthony Laurente of UV and Aljie Mendez of DBTC.

“The 10 players of UV and the 10 players of DBTC are suspended for the rest of the Cordova tournament and the other two are suspended for one game. There will be a fine of P5,000 (for) each player before they are allowed to play. The fine will be carried to Cesafi Season 16 if not paid before the game. There will also be a community service of four hours (for) each player. The sanction will be carried to Cesafi Season 16, if no community service (is rendered) before the game,” Tiukinhoy said in his decision.

The cash fine would be paid to Cesafi, while the community service must be performed at the Cebu City Sports Commission.

Additional penalty

Gullas, for his part was, disappointed of the actions of his players and coaches, but is willing to pay the fine. He will also impose his own punishment on his team.

“I am very disappointed by the action of both our coaches and players in the recent incident in Cordova. These are not the principles and values we teach our students and athletes in the University of the Visayas. We will accept the penalties imposed by Cesafi. We will pay the fines...all coaches, players and utility members of the Baby Lancers will not be receiving shoes as “official issue” from UV. Even if only 10 players are involved, this is a team sport. So everyone will be treated the same. They all have to learn the hard way that I will not tolerate this kind of behavior,” Gullas said in his Facebook page.

Britt Reroma, Don Bosco’s basketball development head, said their players just stood their grounds and didn’t allow themselves to be bullied.

“We are competing and fighting for our school. The players are giving their best that they don’t want to be bullied now. Unfortunately, niabot sa free-for-all. Now we earn the respect of each team and have shown them that Don Bosco Greywolves are defeat defiant. We will abide by the decision of the commissioner,” Reroma said.

DBTC coach Rabonni Rosito however will bat for the inclusion of one more UV player, whom he said instigated the whole fracas. He also said they have a video recording to support their claim.